Medicare and Medicaid Essay

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Medicaid and Medicare are two different government programs. Both programs were created in 1965 to help older and low-income families be able to buy their own private health insurance. These programs were part of President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” plan, a commitment to helping meet the needs of individual health care. They are social insurance programs, which allow the financial load of patient’s illnesses to be shared by other healthy, sick, wealthy, and lower income individuals and families.
Medicaid insurance covers approximately 60 million Americans, according to their income. Medicaid is larger than any other single private health insurance program. The criteria for participating
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Hospice became a permanent benefit in 1984. The next big change came in 1997 when Medicare added a Part C, Medicare Plus Choice which translates as health insurance programs offered by private companies but approved by Medicare.
When Medicare first went into effect the monthly premium for Part B, medical insurance, was three dollars. As it stands today in year 2010, Part A, hospital premium, is $254 to $461 per month. Part B, the medical insurance portion, is $96.40 for those individuals whose income does not exceed a certain amount. There are also multiple co-pays and carve-outs, which further increase the cost to the patient. The ceiling restrictions put on various costs, such as the daily allotment for hospital stays and skilled nursing facilities, often do not fully cover the patient’s expenses.
Today, Medicare recipients must carefully review their Medicare benefits and compare and contrast them with their private insurance. Some providers do not take new Medicare patients. There are benefits that are the responsibility of the Federal government, and others that belong to the State government. It is a challenge for elderly patients to even understand their benefits.
Medicaid and Medicare both play important parts in paying for health care for seniors. They are, however, very different. There are many details, but here are three big differences.
Variability: First, Medicare is more or less the same in every state, but Medicaid rules vary widely state
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