Medicare is a governmental program which provides

medical insurance coverage for retired persons over

age 65 or for others who meet certain medical

conditions, such as having a disability.

Medicare was signed into legislation in 1965 as an

amendment to the Social Security program and is

administered by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid

Services (CMS) under the Department of Human Services.

Medicare provides medical insurance coverage for over

43 million Americans, many of whom would have no

medical insurance. While not perfect, the Medicare

program offers these millions of people relatively low

cost basic insurance, but not much in the way of

preventative care. For instance, Medicare does not pay

for an annual physical, vision care or dental care.

Medicare is paid for through payroll tax deductions

(FICA) equal to 2.9% of wages; the employee pays half

and the employer pays half.

There are four “parts” to Medicare: Part A is hospital

coverage, Part B is medical insurance, Part C is

supplemental coverage and Part D is prescription

insurance. Parts C and D are at an added cost and are

not required. Neither Part A nor B pays 100% of

medical costs; there is usually a premium, co-pay and

a deductible. Some low-income people quality for

Medicaid, which assists in paying part of or all of

the out-of-pocket costs.

Because more people are retiring and become eligible

for Medicare at a faster rate than people are paying

into the system, it has been predicted that the system

will run out of money by 2018. Health care costs have

risen dramatically, which adds to the financial woes

of Medicare and the system has bee plagued by fraud

over the years.

No one seems to have a viable solution to save this

system that saves many people throughout the country.

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