Health care is a component that determines a country’s standard of living. Providing primary, secondary and even tertiary care to citizens is often the measure of a government’s ability to render public service and create a public health system that prioritizes the constituents. Various health care systems are present around the globe to help promote the general well-being of a nation. These programs, however, differ from one another depending on who are eligible for the medical benefits of the health care packages.
In the United States, Medicare is one of the leading providers of health care administered by the government. This health care program covers mainly people 65 years old and over, and legal residents of the U.S. Those under 65 years old are also eligible as long as they meet specific criteria such as disability, Social Security Disability Insurance entitlement, or other particular medical conditions.
Medicare benefits have been designed to cover four different aspects of health care. Part A of the Medicare Benefits package pertains to hospital insurance which includes in-patient care that should at least be overnight. Included in the hospital stay coverage are the doctor’s fees, room fees, food and different tests. Part A of the Medicare Benefits package also includes coverage on home health care, stays at skilled nursing facilities and other hospices provided that certain criteria are met by the beneficiary.
Medical insurance comprises Part B of the Medicare Benefits package. This includes outpatient care, doctors’ services, home health care and preventive services which may include laboratory tests, x-ray, blood transfusion, dialysis and even hormonal treatments. This may also include a regular measurement of vital statistics, blood and cholesterol levels. This part of the Medicare Benefits package also covers durable medical equipment or DME. Prosthetic devices are also part of Medicare Benefits under the Medical Insurance package.
With the passage of the Balance Budget Act of 1997, Medicare started to offer a new package: Part C, or the Medicare Advantage Plan. This gives beneficiaries the option to receive their Medicare benefits through private health insurance plans. This new Medicare Benefits package is offered by private companies that have been approved by Medicare itself. However, companies must follow the rules set by Medicare and may offer varying out-of-pocket costs and terms in enjoying the health benefits. Extra coverage may also be added to Part C of the Medicare Benefits, including health and wellness programs, hearing, vision, and dental services.
The last component of Medicare Benefits, Part D, refers to Prescription Drug Coverage. Anyone enjoying Part A or Part B of the Medicare Benefits package are eligible for Part D. Prescription Drug Coverage is an option of Medicare-approved private insurance companies and are designed and provided by them. Plan D’s coverage is not standardized so plans may choose which drugs and perhaps even types or classes of drugs they would want to cover. However, Plan D certainly lowers the cost of your prescription drugs and makes sure beneficiaries are protected from price increases in the future. With these Medicare benefits, more and more disabled and elderly Americans are being provided affordable and easy access to health care that prioritizes the patients and focuses on maintaining their well-being.
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