Health insurance is the most important tool we have to receive the best medical care possible without the burden of paying the full cost out-of-pocket. When people have health insurance, they are more likely to seek preventative care and visit the doctor at early stages of disease, which can lead to better health outcomes and save money in the long-run.
Top 5 Benefits of Medicare
Medicare provides many benefits to its members. Let’s take a look at the top 5:
1. Medicare increases access to healthcare for seniors
Medicare provides health insurance to millions of seniors and Americans with disabilities – some of whom would not be able to afford health insurance without the program. Before Medicare was passed in 1965, there were about 9 million seniors who did not have health insurance. In 2018, there were about 508,000 uninsured seniors. It is clear the impact that Medicare has had on the ability of our kupuna to access health insurance and achieve the best health outcomes.
According to ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:
8.1% of people aged 50-64 do not have a primary care doctor, compared to 3.3% of those 65 and older.
12.4% of people aged 50-64 report delaying medical treatment because of cost compared to 4.5% of those 65 and older.
47.2% of those aged 50-64 report worrying about paying medical bills compared to 29.1% of those 65 and older.
2. Medicare lifts seniors out of poverty
Millions of seniors and people with disabilities – who typically need the most medical treatment and prescription drugs - would be stuck paying extremely high out-of-pocket fees without access to Medicare. In some cases, the fees would far exceed the individual’s income. This financial burden would dramatically increase poverty rates and make it more difficult for low-income seniors and Americans with disabilities to have a good quality of life. Thankfully, Medicare and prescription drug plans are widely available to these groups.
3. Medicare is affordable
Most Medicare enrollees qualify for free Medicare Part A (hospital coverage), while paying a small monthly fee for Medicare Part B (medical coverage). In 2021, the monthly cost of Part B is $148.50. Those who are low-income may qualify for additional financial help through Medicaid and other Medicare Savings Programs. There are also affordable options for prescription drug coverage under Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C).
4. Medicare has directly contributed to higher medical standards
When congress created Medicare and Medicaid, they did so along with a set of standards for hospital enrollment in the programs. Over the years, the Federal government has increased oversight to mandate public reporting on important health outcomes such as hospital readmissions and infection rates. This public reporting incentivizes hospitals to improve their health outcomes by improving their practices.
5. Lots of great options
Since 2003, Americans have had access to Medicare Part D for prescription drugs and Medicare Advantage Plans that offer a way to pay for prescription drugs, cover more out-of-pocket costs and provide additional services that Original Medicare does not cover. Medicare Advantage Plans are sold by private insurance companies that contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the number of options has increased dramatically in the last few years.
Our independent insurance agents are dedicated to assisting people on Medicare and those who are ready to transition from employer coverage to personal retirement coverage. We help kupuna understand their benefits options and apply for additional coverage, as needed. Because we represent all the major Medicare Advantage and supplement plans in Hawaii, we are able to offer unbiased advice; all at no cost to our clients.
At PBC, our clients are our number one priority and we look forward to getting to know you and your needs. Call us today at (808) 738-4500 to see how we may be of assistance.