Senior Resources Washington
Medicare is the nation’s health-care program designed primarily for the elderly. It was signed into law in 1965 by President Lyndon Johnson. It is the primary way that older
citizens (as well as those with certain permanent disabilities) receive health care.
10,000 Baby Boomers are turning age 65 every single day!
When first enacted, Medicare followed the design of traditional hospital insurance plans in place at that time. Basic hospital insurance policies provided for a certain amount of insurance from the onset of a hospital stay; the patient was responsible for the remainder. This was the basis for Medicare Part A.
Medicare Part B was designed to cover the cost of physician services through a coinsurance arrangement.
Part B pays 80% of these APPROVED costs up to a specified (“reasonable”) amount; the Medicare recipient pays 20% and any costs beyond the reasonable amount.
When Medicare was introduced, it was a single payer system. The federal government served as administrator and distributor of the health insurance coverage Medicare provided. But the program has evolved and now includes a number of managed care options that allow Medicare beneficiaries to enroll in private insurance plans that combine and coordinate Medicare benefits with the delivery of health care.
Medicare now consists of the following four components:
Medicare Part A - hospital insurance
Medicare Part B - medical insurance
Medicare Part C (known as Medicare Advantage) - private insurance plans that provide Medicare Parts A and B coverage and care through a managed care plan (such as an HMO or PPO)
Medicare Part D - prescription drug insurance
Copyright 2015 - Senior Resources WA
What Health Coverage Do YOU Have?
Look at your red-white-blue Medicare card
Check all your other health insurance cards, if any. Call the 800# shown on the back of the card to get more information on your coverage
Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users call 1-877-486-2048.