Health Care Article


MEDICARE IS HERE TO STAY

MEDICARE IS HERE TO STAY

 

By Sandra Perez

Social Security Assistant District Manager, Phoenix Downtown

 

Medicare went into effect 48 years ago on July 1, 1966. Earlier that same year, Medicare workers went door to door trying to get seniors to sign up. Medicare was not the cornerstone then that it is today and people did not know whether it was going to work for the long haul.

 

Now, nearly half a century later, Medicare remains one of the most popular government programs in the nation.

 

We can’t see the future, but one thing’s for sure:  Medicare is here to stay. Medicare provides health insurance to more than 50 million Americans. Forty-two million are people age 65 and older and the other 8 million are younger and have disabilities.

 

Most people first become eligible for Medicare at age 65.

 

The four parts of Medicare are parts A, B, C, and D.

  • Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps cover inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing care, hospice care, and home health care. Most people get Medicare Part A premium-free since it is earned by working and paying Social Security taxes.
  • Part B (Medical Insurance) helps cover services from doctors and other outpatient health care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and some preventive services. Most people pay a monthly premium for Part B. In 2014, the premium for most people is $104.90, the same as it was in 2013. Some high-income individuals pay more than the standard premium. Your Medicare Part B premium also can be higher if you do not enroll when you are first eligible, also known as your initial enrollment period. There also is a Medicare Part B deductible of $147 in 2014.
  • Part C (Medicare Advantage) allows you to choose to receive all of your health care services through a provider organization. This plan includes all benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B, usually includes Medicare prescription drug coverage, and may include extra benefits and services at an extra cost. You must have Part A and Part B to enroll in Part C. Monthly premiums vary depending on your state, private insurer, and whether you select a health maintenance organization or a preferred provider organization.
  • Part D (Medicare prescription drug coverage) helps cover the cost of prescription drugs. Many people pay a premium for Part D. However, people with low income and resources may qualify for extra help from Social Security to pay the premium and deductible. To see if you qualify for extra help visit www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp.

 

Will you be age 65 soon? Even if you decide not to retire, you should consider applying for Medicare. You can apply in less than 10 minutes using our online Medicare application. Do it today at www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly.

 

To learn more about applying for Medicare when you plan to delay retirement, read our publication Applying For Medicare Only—Before You Decide, available at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.


Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • My father-in-law just got approved for AHCCCS. He had originally signed up for Humana so wondering if he can still use the Humana?
  • are clinics allowed to charge interest on medical bills? are they required to file claims with my secondary insurance after medicare? can they refuse treatment for a balance on an account after medicare has paid?
  • How do I get a list of doctors that participate in the AHCCCS Medical Program in Chandler AZ?
  • My parents are on social security income only and we are evaluating whether to put my Dad in a nursing home. He would most likely be eligible for ALTCS. My parents own their home and it is the only asset left to support my mother. I heard that a nursing home can take half the house value if the house is sold within 3 years of my father entering a facility. Can the home be put into a trust for my mother or sold to a family member before my father enters a nursing home to avoid this?
  • Don't qualify for AHCCCS,to young for medicare, if there is a catastrophic health issue I do not want all my savings wiped out so where can this money be put where the debtors can not touch it. Trusts?Where can my money be protected?Financial help/applications will want to know all about your accounts and will take every dime you have. I have paid my bills in the past. This is just a hypothetical question in case of a major illness. I simply cannot afford health insurance beginning in 2019
  • Can I utilize financial funding from an established foundation (501(c)(3)) if the INCORPORATOR is placed in a senior living facility due to injury? Upon her discharge, 24 hour care will be required. If yes, how? Thank you.
  • I recently moved to Arizona from Oregon. I tried to be seen by a local internist and was refused service without an explanation. I have no conditions which could make me a concern. I asked the office for their evaluation criteria and they would not provide it. If they are going to refuse service, they should at least state the grounds for doing so.
  • My mother is 85 and being treated by a naturopathic doctor. My sister and I are concerned that the care she is getting is harming her overall health. We have contacted the Naturopathic Physician Medical Board to file a complaint. They are willing to move forward and subpoena her medical records for review. The problem is that they say there is no way to keep this physician from mentioning it to our mother. We feel that our mother puts an abnormal amount of "faith" in this physician and that she has been, for lack of a better word, "brainwashed" into believing that he can do no harm. We want to proceed without fear that he will convince my mother that we are "the bad guys." What do we need to do to proceed without fear that he will discuss this with our mother? Any suggestions or guidance would be greatly appreciated.
  • My Mom is an 80-year old senior with legal status, diable, no income, arrived in the US November 2007. She was just recently approved for AHCCCS Federal Emergency Services. I made an appeal to AHCCCS that she be granted a regular full coverage because of her current medical condition. What are the rights of the seniors in Arizona with the same case of my Mom in terms of health care. She has heart disease, severe arthritis, acute glaucoma that needs to be followed-up by specialists. She has been due for medical check up and needs continuous medication for the above illnesses. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
  • Can I request "in-home" assistance thru AHCCCS? We are in need of assistance for someone with mild Alheimer's as reminders for taking medicine and for personal health & safety a few hours a day. Is this possible thru AHCCCS?

STORIES

  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .
  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • If you get a divorce, make sure your date of birth is on the Decree if your name is changing!. . .

LegalLEARN

YOUR FEEDBACK IS NEEDED

FIND LEGAL HELP

  • Please select your county of residence below.

    County:
     

OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
    Link

ORGANIZATIONS