Medicare health insurance is a national health insurance provided to seniors beginning at age 65. Medicare pays for the basic health insurance needs of a senior and provides a sense of security as all seniors qualify for it (no rejections because of pre-existing conditions). Seniors who have a very low income and nearly no assets can also transfer over to Medicaid, a program operated in conjunction with the federal and state governments. Medicaid differs from Medicare in that it does pay for ongoing long-term care in a nursing home.
Medicare was created when the life expectancy of an American was around age 72. Today, a baby born in the U.S.A. can expect to live to be 100 years old. The oldest senior, in fact, just passed away this month at age 116. People are living longer and this means Medicare must pay for the health insurance for many more years than perhaps what was planned when the program was first developed.
As Congress debates the "fiscal cliff", one of the solutions was to delay the age until 67 for a senior to begin Medicare health insurance.
Today the Senate announced the White House was not in favor of moving the age requirement back for Medicare although the Republicans were holding on to this as a way to curb costs if they were going to finally give in to raising taxes on the very wealthy.
AARP, the association for American seniors, maintains a lobbying foot in Congress and keeps up on the latest developments as the debate continues.
seniorcare, Medicare, Medicaid