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In the United States, politicians debated for decades on how to best provide a nationwide health insurance program for its elderly citizens. Though discussion began as early as 1912 and the first health insurance bill was introduced to congress in 1935, it wasn’t until 1965 that President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a bill to establish what we now know as Medicare.|
Simply stated, Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for residents of the United States and its territories that are age 65 and older.
Those who qualify for the program should understand that while this program helps with the cost of medical care, it does not cover ALL medical expenses nor does it cover long-term care, with just a few exceptions.
How does the government collect the money used for Medicare? The program is funded in a few different ways. Those collecting Social Security checks will have a portion of their funds deducted and contributed to Medicare. Also, workers and their employers are required to pay a portion of their payroll taxes towards the funding of the program.
Medicare has two parts, each paying for different types of health-care costs. Medicare Part A, also dubbed Hospital Insurance, is designed to pay for inpatient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (following a hospital stay), some home health care, and hospice care.
Medical Insurance, or Medicare Part B, will assist in paying for doctors’ services and many other medical services and supplies that are not covered by the program’s hospital insurance.
Though the program is administered through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, applicants must apply through the Social Security Administration. Special cases should also contact Social Security in order to determine eligibility.
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