Those Wanting Medicare for All Have Not Been on Medicare
Bruce Bialosky Bruce Bialosky |Posted: Mar 31, 2019 12:01 AM
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Those Wanting Medicare for All Have Not Been on Medicare
Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik


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Those Wanting Medicare for All Have Not Been on Medicare

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Now that the Democrats got skunked on their plan to take down Trump with Russia they have pivoted along with their teammates on cable news to health care.

The people who work on governmental health policy quite often have not experienced having the insurance they regulate. Recently single-payer insurance (i.e. government operated and controlled medical insurance) has been recast with the cutesy name “Medicare for All.” As someone who recently became a Medicare-covered individual along with the Beautiful Wife (BW), let’s talk about reality.

As you know, Medicare is a program begun in 1966 to cover people 65 years of age and older. The program is to be paid through lifelong payroll tax payments akin to social security. Unlike social security, the benefits are not related to how much you have paid into the program. An important point to understand is (for most people) the vast majority of medical expenses are incurred near the end of one’s life. When the program was established, it was not anticipated that people would be living as long as they do. This has also driven up costs; i.e., keeping older people alive.

As an aside, Medicare covers for pre-existing conditions. 180 million people who are covered by corporation health insurance also are covered for pre-existing conditions as well as those covered by Medicaid. That is over 90% of Americans, so we can dispense with that canard. Some politicians want you to believe people are threatening to take away coverage for pre-existing conditions when that is just not true.

One thing you need to know is who must go on Medicare. If you have personal insurance or are covered by group insurance where the group is 20 or fewer people, you must go on Medicare. If you have coverage by a company and there are more than 20 people on the plan, you can opt out. More seniors are working past 65 years old and are opting out of portions of Medicare to remain covered by their employers. One reason is Obamacare outlawed reimbursement to the employees of any insurance paid by employees.

When you are young – except possibly those caring for an elderly parent - you probably don’t know how Medicare works. You think that if you have Medicare that covers you because you have been making payments into the program for 40 or more years, but nothing could be further from the truth. What you need to know is your “alphabet” to understand the different components.

There are four main elements to consider:

Part A – This is the free element. It covers your medically-necessary hospitalization. That is the only thing you get at no cost, somewhat. This has a co-pay of up to $1,364 annually in 2019.

Part B – This covers doctor fees and some outpatient services. This you pay for to Medicare. If you receive Social Security, the government deducts your insurance premiums from your monthly social security payments. Also, Part B benefits are income tested. That is why 12.4% of people opt out of this benefit and remain covered by their employers. The more money you make the higher your premiums, which start at $135.50 per month currently. Monthly premiums can go as high as $460.50. Part B has a co-pay of up to $185 annually in 2019.