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.


Donors save lives

Each year, about 8,000 people die waiting for an organ transplant, and just one donor can save and heal up to 75 lives through organ and tissue donation. Today, there are more than 120,000 patients waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant and many more who need cornea, tissue, bone marrow, […]


Focus on keeping your vision clear

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can cause permanent vision loss and blindness. Some forms of glaucoma don’t have any symptoms, so you may still have glaucoma even if you don’t have any trouble seeing or feel any pain. If you find and get treatment for glaucoma early, you […]


Find cervical cancer early—get screened

Over 12,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. Early treatment is key, and fortunately, it’s one of the easiest female cancers to detect. Medicare covers Pap tests, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) tests (as part of Pap tests), and pelvic exams that can help find cervical and […]


Stop the flu before it stops you

Flu season is back, which means it’s time to protect yourself and loved ones by getting a free flu shot. Flu viruses change from year to year, so it’s important to get a flu shot each flu season. It’s free for people with Medicare, once per flu season when you get […]


It’s always time to quit tobacco

Smoking tobacco can cause many health problems, including heart disease, respiratory diseases, and lung cancer —the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. Close to 40 million people in the U.S. still smoke tobacco, but quitting can help prevent these health problems. You can quit smoking today, and Medicare […]


COPD – Learn more, breathe better

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of diseases that cause breathing problems, like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma. People with COPD are more likely to have difficulty walking or climbing stairs, be unable to work, and have other chronic diseases, like diabetes or heart disease. To help you […]


Saving money on health care costs: Extra Help

If you have limited income and resources, you may qualify for Medicare’s Extra Help program. You might be able to get help paying your Medicare drug plan’s monthly premiums, yearly deductibles, and prescription copayments. Drug costs in 2018 for most people who qualify will be no more than $3.35 for […]


Know when to use antibiotics

It’s that time again—flu season! If you get sick, antibiotics won’t always help you. If you get a cold or flu, antibiotics could do more harm than good. That’s because these are viral infections, and antibiotics only cure bacterial infections. Every time you take antibiotics, they kill sensitive bacteria, but resistant germs […]


Caregivers need help, too

Are you caring for an aged, ill, or disabled family member? If so, you’re one of about 43.5 million Americans who care for loved ones with a chronic illness, disability, or frailty. Family caregivers provide an average of 24 hours of care per week – when you’re the caregiver, that […]


Hospice care: Supporting you and your family

There are many difficult decisions that come with a terminal illness, like considering whether hospice is right for you. The thought of hospice can be scary, but it’s important to learn about your options. Medicare covers hospice care to help terminally ill patients spend the last moments of their lives […]


Fight lung cancer with Medicare

More men and women in the United States die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. More than 220,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer every year. The best way to lower your chances of developing lung cancer is to quit smoking and stop using tobacco products. If […]


Diabetes—Are you at risk?

Millions of Americans have or are at risk for diabetes, one of the leading causes of death in the United States. The disease can lead to kidney failure, amputations, and blindness. November is American Diabetes Month, the perfect time for you to find out if you’re at risk and learn […]