By the year 2030, there will be roughly 79 million people enrolled in Medicare. That number showcases the popularity of the program, particularly amongst low-income seniors.
If you’re approaching the age of 65 and are wondering whether or not Medicare is something you should be looking into, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, We’re going to go over several Medicare facts you may not be aware of.
By arming yourself with information on this mode of healthcare coverage, you should be able to come to a sound determination on whether or not enrolling in Medicare will best serve your health needs. Keep reading to start learning!
1. Medicare Is Run by the Government
Those that prefer the government stay out of their healthcare need not apply for Medicare. The program is funded by the federal government and as such, you’ll need to answer to them when making claims on various medical services you receive.
The good news is that while the government issues your insurance, they (in most cases) don’t fully employ the doctor that’s issuing your treatment. That affords you some separation between elected/non-elected officials and your healthcare privacy.
2. The Program Is Mostly Targeted at Seniors
Healthcare coverage that’s furnished through Medicare was established primarily to aid seniors that could no longer work in attaining affordable medical services. That’s why, to enroll in Medicare, you have to be 65 years old.
There are exceptions to the 65 year enrollment age, of course. For example, if you have a covered medical disability, you may be able to claim Medicare coverage in advance of your 65th birthday.
You can learn more about disabilities and Medicare eligibility online.
3. High-Earning Individuals Pay More
Medicare is not a flat-rate health coverage plan. Depending on how much income you make, you’ll pay more for the same quality of coverage that a poorer person would.
The brackets that disclose how much individuals will make are updated regularly on the Medicare website so head over there to get the latest Medicare facts regarding what your cost obligations might look like.
4. You’ll Need to Pay Some Money Out of Pocket
The misconception that Medicare covers all medical costs is a widespread one. Medicare covers only 80% of qualifying medical expenses.
That means that if you needed an emergency surgery that carried a price tag of $30,000, you’d still need to pay $6,000 out of pocket. While it’s obviously helpful to be relieved of 80% of your medical costs, paying even 20% can be an impossibility for some low and even medium-income individuals.
This is why Medicare supplement plans have become popular. Many of them plug that 20% hole so you can live with confidence knowing that your medical expenses are covered fully.
5. Long-Term Care Is Not Included
One of the most expensive aspects of getting old is acquiring long-term care. Long-term care is the kind of regular nursing assistance an elderly person might need to manage medications, prepare meals, and the like.
One of the more unfortunate facts about Medicare we have to share is that the program will do nothing to cover costs associated with those sorts of services. That’s a huge problem for families since long-term care can cost as much as $8000 per month in some areas.
In some states, there are programs that help offset costs associated with long-term care. These programs exist outside of Medicare. Talk to local senior/disabilities advocates to learn more.
6. You Won’t Be Covered While Traveling
If you’re one of those older folks that love hopping on planes and seeing new parts of the world, good on you! The bad news is that when you’re abroad, you won’t be able to bill emergency healthcare expenses to your Medicare plan.
While that might sound like an issue, it is avoidable by picking up a short-term supplement plan. Short-term supplement plans for travel or “travel insurance” is low-cost and will make sure that when you’re abroad, your health is protected.
7. Money for Medicare Is Dwindling
Medicare costs hundreds of billions of dollars to keep afloat every year. The way the program is funded is by pulling a little bit out of every working adult’s paycheck each year.
Problematically, new entrants into the workforce are dwindling due to dropping birth rates. On the other side of the spectrum, seniors are retiring in staggering volumes.
That mismatch is creating conditions where the Medicare fund is losing money every year. It’s predicted that by the year 2026, Medicare will either go broke or more likely, will charge recipients much more to enjoy its coverage benefits.
8. Annual Checkups Are Free
Ending our list of Medicare facts on a positive note, we’re glad to tell you that Medicare does allow users to get an annual preventive checkup for free. These checkups help screen you for serious illnesses, dietary issues, and anything else you may want to discuss with your physician.
Armed with the information you receive during your checkup, you should be able to move through the year confidently and in good health.
We Hope Our Medicare Facts Brought You Clarity
Health insurance in the United States can be a confusing topic. With private insurers in the marketplace competing against public ones, which option is best for you?
We hope that the medicare facts we’ve shared have equipped you to better answer that question. After all, few things are as impactful to your long-term health as making informed decisions when it comes to how best to pay for your care.
If you’d like additional guidance on health topics, we’ve got you covered. Check out the newest information on our blog to discover more!