By Dr. Janet Brill
While the scientific aspects of healthcare are important, the economics occupy a singular place. It is these very economic indicators (cost, range of coverage etc.) that give the general public access to quality healthcare. The U.S. government resorts to centralized factions such as Medicare, which ensure broad range health coverage for the masses.
The discussion on Medicare has become important in light of the Affordable Care Act. There is a lot of debate and discussion on the Medicare’s solvency and the rising cost of health coverage in the U.S. However, two important indicators by which to evaluate insurance quotes on sites like Medicare.com are:
1. Patient Centered Changes
2. Medicare Modernization Act
Through the discussion on these two parameters, it can be shown how the Medicare system has evolved and sustained itself over time. Furthermore, there is room for improvement in areas, but by no means can a sweeping statement be made that the system is not doing its job.
Patient Centered Changes
The Affordable Care Act has come under a lot of fire, but it should be kept in mind that the act brings $716 billion to the Medicare system. This money is a representation of the savings that could be attained in a decade with reduction in payments to healthcare providers. This is the most important point to understand. The deductions are not from the benefits of just patients.
Rather, the Affordable Care Act gives more teeth to Medicare for serving the public with more access to co-payment free preventive care and also the reduction in prices of prescription drugs.
Then there is also the premium support system, which is being pushed by Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Paul Ryan. Under the plan, premium increases would be experienced by the beneficiaries.
Also with the mixing of Medicare and Affordable Care Act, the beneficiaries of the former do not have to dabble in a marketplace plan. So, the compliance with regards to a patient-centric approach is complementary.
Medicare Modernization Act
While the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act (MMA) was initiated in 2005, its effect can be visibly seen only now. The change brought back then made it possible for Medicare to stay updated with rising healthcare demands.
The Medicare drug benefits are pretty much apparent on the grounds that it adds coverage for outpatient prescription drugs and additional preventive services. These services include screening for a wide variety of ailments, ranging from cardiovascular to diabetes.
It also led to a fractured policy model where people can choose from traditional Medicare to Medicare Advantage. The Advantage programs are a managed care plan and cater to prescription drug coverage. It also includes a part D plan according to which patients may only be covered for medication. Therefore, the system becomes more accommodative rather than being cost intensive.
An important effect of Medicare by the Affordable Care Act is that preventive services such as mammograms and prostate exams are now free. The free package also includes an annual wellness checkup.
Based on the analysis provided above, it is pretty clear that healthcare is also dependent on the financial coverage you are getting. The Medicare model is an extensive one and also sustainable. With the Affordable Care Act making health insurance mandatory, this is a decent option to have.