Medicare Essay

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Assignment Three Idara Nwa SWK-647: Social Welfare Policies and Services II Prof. Debra Huff April 3, 2012 The social policy topic that I chose is Medicare. The reason I chose this topic is because I feel that older people are the forgotten population of our country; and I know that we will all be in that population at some point in time. I will focus on the rising costs of Medicare and the impact this has on older adults. I will do this by applying Blau’s social policy analysis model using the following perspectives: history, social movement, economics, politics, and ideology. Overview of Medicare What is Medicare? Medicare is a standardized, federally sponsored program which provides financial sustenance and funds medical assistance for people over 65 and the permanently disabled. Medicare funding comes from four major sources: payroll taxes, income taxes, trust fund interests, and enrollee premiums. Medicare helps a lot of the elderly population with their medical expenses. This population is the largest consumer of this program. According to Bruce C. Vladeck (1999), “Medicare helps in reducing poverty for the elderly and disabled by just transferring income from working-age persons to retired or disabled former workers” (p. 22). There are two parts in the financing of Medicare. Part A is hospital insurance. This part pays for acute inpatient hospital services and alternatives to hospitals such as skilled nursing services. Individuals who have paid into the social security system for ten years are automatically enrolled in Part A upon reaching their sixty-fifth birthday. If the individual uses hospital treatment, a deductible will be paid equal to the cost of the first day in the hospital; Medicare will pay for days 2-60 with no coinsurance requirements; days 61-90 would be covered but the patient must pay coinsurance equal to 25

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