Medicare

In the United States, Medicare is a single-payer, national social insurance program administered by the U.S. federal government since 1966. The program is funded by a payroll tax, premiums and surtaxes from beneficiaries, and general revenue. It provides health insurance for Americans aged 65 and older who have worked and paid into the system through the payroll tax. It also provides health insurance to younger people with some disability status as determined by the Social Security Administration, as well as people with end stage renal disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In 2015, Medicare provided health insurance for over 55 million—46 million people age 65 and older and 9 million younger people. On average, this insurance program covers about half of the health care charges for those enrolled. The enrolees must then cover their remaining costs either with supplemental insurance, separate insurance, or out-of-pocket. Out-of-pocket costs can vary depending on the amount of health care an enrolee needs. They might include the costs of uncovered services—such as for long-term, dental, hearing, and vision care—and supplemental insurance premiums. Medicare and Medicaid are the two government sponsored medical insurance schemes in the United States. Medicare is further divided into parts A and B – Medicare Part A covers hospital and hospice services; Part B covers outpatient services. Part D covers self-administered prescription drugs. Part C is alternative to the other parts intended to allow experimentation with differently structured plans in an effort to reduce costs to government and allow patients to choose plans with more benefits.


Preventing pneumonia is easy

Did you know that about 1 million Americans go to the hospital with pneumonia every year? Pneumonia is a lung infection caused by pneumococcal disease, which can also cause blood infections and meningitis. The bacteria that causes pneumococcal disease spreads by direct person-to-person contact. There’s a vaccine to help prevent […]


Protect yourself from hepatitis

Did you know viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver, causes more than one million deaths per year worldwide? It’s about as many deaths as caused by tuberculosis and HIV combined. Fortunately, Medicare can help keep you protected from Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, the most common types of viral […]


Take charge, get tested for HIV

Did you know that 1 in 7 of the more than 1.1 million Americans living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) don’t know they have it? Getting medical care, support, and maintaining safe behaviors can help improve the health and lives of people living with HIV. Medicare can help. Medicare covers […]


Choose health, not tobacco

Are you or a loved one hooked on tobacco? Make May 31—named by the World Health Organization as World “No Tobacco” Day—your starting point to kick the habit. Tobacco use is the second leading cause of death worldwide, responsible for 1 in every 10 adult deaths. Join the millions who’ve […]


Stroke recovery—Medicare can help

Did you know that more than half a million people over the age of 65 suffer a stroke each year? If you’re recovering from a stroke and suffering major side effects, like problems with hearing or vision, paralysis, balance problems, or difficulty walking or moving around in daily life, Medicare […]


Look out for your new Medicare card!

Keep an eye on your mailbox—Medicare is sending new cards with new Medicare numbers to people with Medicare. Mailing has started in certain states and will continue over the next few months nationwide. Your new Medicare card will include a new number unique to you, instead of your Social Security […]


Have you checked your pressure?

About 1 in 3 U.S. adults have high blood pressure—and you could be one of them. If you haven’t checked your blood pressure lately, now’s the time to take a quick and easy test. High blood pressure usually has no signs or symptoms, but it can lead to a higher […]


Protect your bones, protect your life

Brittle bones could shatter your life. Every year, more Americans are diagnosed with osteoporosis—a disease that causes bones to weaken and become more likely to break. You may not know that you have this “silent” disease until your bones are so weak that a sudden strain, bump, or fall causes […]


Too old? No such thing!

You can never be too old to improve your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. May is Older Americans Month, and it’s the perfect time to celebrate the many ways in which older adults can make a big difference. When we come together to celebrate this year’s theme of “Engage at […]


Rethink drinking

As you get older, alcohol may start to effect you differently. You may become more sensitive to it, and your regular drinking habits could become a problem. Drinking too much alcohol can cause falls and fractures. Alcohol can also cause dangerous interactions when mixed with prescription or over-the-counter medications. Over […]


New Medicare cards have started to mail!

Medicare has started sending new cards with new Medicare Numbers to people with Medicare. Your new Medicare card will include a new number unique to you, instead of your current Social Security-based number. This will help to protect you against fraud. Starting this month, people who are enrolling in Medicare […]


Need help with your Medicare costs?

If you have Medicare and you’re facing challenges with paying for health care, you may be eligible for programs that can help you save money on medical and drug costs. People with limited income and resources may qualify for Medicaid—a joint federal and state program that helps with medical costs. […]