The Presidential Candidates debate Medicare

Medicare is a hot topic in the presidential campaign impacting many Americans.  Both candidates agree that changes need to be to the health care program made but differ greatly on how to make those changes.

How does Medicare work

If we look in a comparative manner, Medicare is an efficient insurance program.  Only 3% of administrative overhead for Medicare compared to 25% administrative overhead for the private sector.  This is possible because Medicare contracts out to the private sector options for supplemental insurance.

Once an individual reaches the age of 65, a Medicare card is sent to each person.  On the card the person covered is identified for Part A (hospitalization) and Part B (Medicare Advantage).  If the person does not want to be covered at the time, the Medicare card is received, the card can be sent back stating Part B is not requested at this time.  A new card is then issued identifying the person is covered under Part A.  There is no cost to the consumer for Part A but if Part B is included the consumer must pay a monthly fee.

If the individual is enrolled in Social Security, the Medicare Part B payment can be taken from the monthly social security check.  However, with the changes in social security, a person can begin to take a reduced social security payment at age 62, but if full payment is desired must wait until age 66.  Note that the full payment of social security is not age 65 but is 66 and with the increasing age schedule based on the changes will increase to age 67.

Where do the candidates disagree

Both Presidential Candidates promise not to change benefits for current Medicare recipients, but they do disagree on the future for younger workers.  President Obama plans to cut excessive payments in the current system to save money and extend the life of Medicare.  Obama claims that Romney will turn Medicare into a private system and leave seniors at the mercy of insurance companies. Romney wants to have options for younger workers when they reach retirement age.  The issue of converting to the private sector, according to Romney, would only make changes for those 55 years of age and under.

Health Care Managers study the laws and policies so they are able to assist seniors making Medicare decisions. Consider a degree in Health Care Management from Globe University.

Jerry Lovrien has held positions of Chief Executive Officer at health and behavioral health facilities in Minnesota and Washington State. He served successfully as State Director/Commissioner of Health and Behavioral Health in Georgia, West Virginia and Minnesota. Jerry has taught high school through graduate courses and is currently an Instructor with Globe University.