The onset of their golden years brings American seniors the joys of retirement coupled with an increased likelihood of medical problems. Medicare offers some answers to the challenges of health care in retirement.
Americans who turn 65 and consequently become eligible for Medicare find that their health insurance gets more affordable and they can’t be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, according to CBS News
“Despite these benefits, managing your insurance can still be complicated, and you'll need to plan carefully to make every dollar count,” CBS News said.
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Medicare is a national program administered by the federal government that provides health insurance for Americans age 65 and older, as well as younger people with permanent disabilities, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation
. About half of senior citizens lacked medical insurance at the time Medicare was established in 1965 but today virtually all seniors have health insurance provided through Medicare, the Kaiser Foundation said. Medicare currently provides health insurance coverage to about 45 million people ages 65 and older, and about 9 million people younger than 65 with permanent disabilities.
Any American who turns 65 automatically becomes enrolled in Medicare, according to CNN
. It indicated basic Medicare coverage comes in two components: Part A, which provides coverage for patients who are hospitalized; and Part B. which covers physician’s office visits, other outpatient costs such as physical therapy and a limited number of prevention costs. Medicare also provides Part C, a private plan that offers an alternative to parts A and B; and Part D, a prescription drug program, according to CNN.
Employees are eligible for free Medicare Part A coverage if they or their spouse have paid Social Security taxes for at least 40 calendar quarters, according to CBS News. Most people qualify for parts B and D, as the requirements for those programs have nothing to do with how long a person has worked, the AARP indicated
Medicare benefits are not free, as enrollees must pay considerable deductibles, premiums and coinsurance, according to the AARP. Overall, Medicare covers about half of its beneficiaries’ total health care costs, the AARP reported.
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CBS News encouraged the public – in addition to watching their health insurance – to watch their health by exercising and eating the proper kinds and amounts of food. It said, “This will help reduce the odds of needing expensive and debilitating medical care in the future.”
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