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What Does Medicare for All Mean Practically?

Medicare is a government-run health insurance program available to Americans who are aged 65 and over. The government gets funding for the program by taking a portion of the money deducted from paychecks for Social Security. Seniors use Medicare to pay for doctors’ visits and hospital stays, and many get additional coverage for prescription drugs and other services. This is a very popular program, with close to nine out of 10 seniors rating their coverage and care positively, according to a Gallup Poll.

Recently, politicians have been talking about Medicare for All. Many are confused by what this means.

What Is Medicare for All?

Medicare for All refers to an expansion of the Medicare program. The degree of the expansion depends on the politician pushing it. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders wants Medicare for All to cover all citizens and lawful residents, while others want to lower the age requirements, so Americans can get Medicare sooner.

Those in favor of Medicare for All see the issue as twofold. First, they believe that health care is a human right. Second, they believe that Medicare for All can reduce the costs of health care.

What Would Medicare for All Do?

The American health care system is what is referred to as a hybrid, meaning both the public and private sectors contribute to the system. The private sector includes those who are self-insured as well as people who get insurance through their employers. The public sector consists of Medicare and Medicaid.

If Senator Sanders’ version of Medicare for All goes into effect, the public sector will handle most health care costs. Americans would receive Medicare benefits to cover doctor’s visits and hospital stays. The plan would also cover vision and dental costs. People would not have to pay any co-pays for the service, but they would be responsible for out-of-pocket costs related to some elective procedures and certain prescription drugs.

States would have the option to provide residents with other benefits, but they would not receive federal money to help with those.

Under the plan, recipients could keep their doctors as long as the physician is a certified Medicare provider.

Rolling Out the Plan

If Sanders’ plan is adopted, it will take some time for it to roll out. For the first year, adults 55 and older and children 18 and younger could get on Medicare. The following year, those 45 and older would be allowed to join, and the year after that, people 35 and older could enroll. During year four, the plan would be open to all citizens and lawful residents.

Chose a Medicare Plan for Your Needs

If you are 65 or older, you do not have to wait for Medicare for All to take effect. You can sign up for Medicare today and start receiving benefits. Speak to a licensed insurance agent by calling 844-374-1950 to learn more about your options. You can also browse and compare Medicare plans online. Look at costs and coverage options and choose a plan.