Current Status of Healthcare for Senior Citizens

Learn about the state of healthcare coverage for the elderly members of your family.

The United States Government allocates more than 200 percent on healthcare for senior citizens compared to other progressive nations worldwide. In fact, the fraction of the country’s economy channeled to healthcare for citizens 65 years old and above is projected to increase twice within the next 15 years.

Programs for Senior Citizens

Government programs such as Veterans Administration, Medicaid and Medicare as well as private insurance firms pay for most of healthcare for senior citizens. Services include doctors’ fees, hospitals, prescription medications, caregiver facilities, and end-of-life (for those who are dying) care. There are more than 40 million American seniors right now who comprise over 13 percent of the entire population.

Right now, Medicare is the federal government’s insurance program designed specifically for elderly folks who have worked as permanent employees for a minimum of 10 years. Medicare payments come from the compulsory payroll taxes (2.9 percent) charged to all employees, monthly premium contributions of workers and the US government.

Affordable Care Act

As a refresher, the Affordable Care Act seeks to help senior citizens with cheaper prescription medicines. Reduced costs plug the so-called “coverage gap” as beneficiaries are given an automatic discount on medications. For the first five months of this year, senior citizen beneficiaries (Medicare) get a 55-percent price cut for brand-name medicines and 42 percent for generic drugs.

As part of the healthcare for senior citizens, beneficiaries of Medicare are qualified to receive various preventative services minus the usual costs. Said services are influenza vaccines, screening for recurring ailments like cancers and diabetes, and counseling for those who want to stop smoking. Older persons are also entitled to yearly wellness visits from doctors and discuss health matters.

Current Status of Healthcare for Senior Citizens

Benefits for All Americans

This law is a big help not only for senior citizens but people of all ages as well. Medicaid has been expanded to persons not entitled to the Program for those below 65 years old with earnings of maximum (133 percent) of national poverty level. However, this is not obligatory for states. At the same time, the ACA prevents insurance agencies from refusing coverage to kids with health problems or removing coverage for those who require such services.

Care after Discharge from Hospital

The reform in healthcare for senior citizens provides improved care for elders who have been discharged from hospitals. Instead of readmission, nursing facilities will be ready to accept a bigger number of patients for post-acute custody. More information regarding nursing homes will also be made available. This makes it easier for families to compare these institutions and their services. Increased protection will also be given to residents of nursing homes.

Health Insurance

With regards to health insurance for senior citizens, it is vital to opt for a plan that gives importance to cases of pre-existing illnesses along with limitations placed by insurers on minimum age prerequisites. Many health insurance policies have a restriction on lifetime age. When a person reaches the age of 65, he or she is not qualified for specific coverage. This stipulation reduces the risks for the insurance company. Senior citizens should look into all these concerns.

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