Medicare Pros and Cons List

Medicare is a national healthcare insurance program in the United States which began offering benefits starting in 1966 under the Social Security Administration. Anyone over the age of 65 or someone with a qualifying disability status can receive benefits. Individuals with specific diseases may also qualify. About 60 million people are currently covered by this program.

List of the Pros of Medicare

1. It provides coverage to those who need it most.

This program provides health coverage to those who need it. Before its implementation in the 1960s, about 9 million seniors did not have this support. Now about 400,000 people who qualify do not have insurance. It also covers people with disabilities that may be unable to receive coverage otherwise.

2. The cost is competitive for enrollees.

Part A in Medicare is free for most people. A small out-of-pocket payment is necessary for Part B, which is about $150 per month. Since seniors can spend 10 times that amount on medication and appointments, the premium cost is minimal compared to the savings.

3. It has led to prescription improvements.

When Medicare began, it created a market for pharmaceutical companies. Billions of dollars in investments came about to help people improve their quality of life. When Part D came through in 2006, the medication benefits have helped many families improve their care access.

List of the Cons of Medicare

1. The cost to taxpayers is quite high.

About 15% of the overall federal budget, or about $600 billion in spending, goes to the Medicare program. That is about the same amount that Americans spend on their entire defensive network. Questioning the efficiency of the program is only natural with that much money involved.

2. It doesn’t reduce the cost of a hospital stay.

Medicare will cover hospital costs for patients, but it does not cover everything. An extended stay could cost several thousand dollars, with many people suffering from a preventable condition. This burden can crush the financial wellbeing of seniors who also struggled to save enough for their retirement.

3. This system does not adapt well to aging.

When a Medicare enrollee reaches the age of 85, then their healthcare expenses triple. The system does not take this increased cost into account, so older Americans might pay even more.

There were over 400 doctors charged with medical fraud in 2017 to the tune of $1.3 billion. The pros and cons of Medicare might make healthcare access easier for many, but it is far from a perfect system.