After starting my graduation project I became very overwhelmed by the amount of information on health care in the United States. I was not sure what aspect of health care to start with. I put it off at first until one night when I turned the news on and saw public health care come up. A bell went off in my head. I decided to limit my focus to public health care.
First I picked Medicare. You probably hear a lot about Medicare, right? Although I hear the word a lot, I did not know what it actually was. After doing some research I learned a lot. I learned that Medicare not only covers those who are 65 years and older, along with some disabled. Federal income taxes, payroll tax shared by employers and employees, and individual enrollee premiums, help Medicare to be financed. Medicare is made up of four parts, Part A, B, C, and D. Part A covers hospital services. Part B covers physician services. Third is Part C, which refers to Medicare advantage. “A Medicare Advantage Plan is a type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide you with all your Part A and Part B benefits.” Medicare Advantage Plans offer plans such as; Health Maintenance Organization Plans, Preferred Provider Organization Plans, Private Fee-for-Service Plans, and Special Needs Plans. Lastly, Plan D which offers prescription drug benefits. The downside of Medicare is that dental, hearing and vision are not covered causing many to have to obtain “supplemental insurance.” This causes seniors to pay about 22% of their income for health care cost despite their medical insurance.
Medicaid is the second public health care I picked. Medicaid is a program designed for low-income and disabled individuals. Over 50 million people are covered by Medicaid. Federal law requires that states must cover those who are; very poor, pregnant women, children, elder, disabled, and parents. If you do not have any children, then you will not get Medicaid. The program is financed by the states and federal government through taxes. Every dollar a state spends on Medicaid is matched by the government 100%. Although in poorer states the government might match each dollar more than what is paid. 57% of Medicaid costs are paid by the federal government. Sometimes people who have Medicaid have trouble finding providers because its reimbursement rate is low.
Thirdly, I researched a program that was designed in 1997 to “cover children whose…