As Medicare celebrates its 50th birthday on July 1st, there are a few important milestones to recognize. First and foremost, is that for the past 50 years, Medicare has been an important resource for those over age 65 and the disabled. Medicare now provides health insurance for nearly 55 million people, making coverage available to virtually all people over age 65. Prior to Medicare, only 65 of people in this group had health insurance. Here are a few Medicaid fun facts:
- President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the bill into effect, and former President Harry S. Truman became the first person enrolled. President Truman’s wife, Bess, was the second person.
- In the first week, one million people enrolled in Medicare. By the end of the year, 19 million had enrolled.
- Today, there are nearly 54 million people covered by Medicare, and that number is expected to rise to 78 million by 2030.
- The first Medicare Part B premium (which covers doctor visits and outpatient care) was $3 per month.
- When he ran for president in 1912, Theodore Roosevelt became the first presidential candidate to propose a national health care program for the elderly.
Medicare vs. Medicaid
But don’t confuse Medicare with Medicaid. Medicaid, a joint state and federal program, was also included in the bill signed by President Johnson. Medicaid, which in Arizona is called AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System), is a program to provide health coverage for low income individuals.
One crucial difference between the two programs is what each will cover for long-term care. If you don’t know the difference, you are not alone. In a recent survey conducted by the Alzheimer’s Association, 65% of respondents were confused about whether Medicare covered long-term care costs, but the fact is, Medicare pays for almost no long-term care. Medicaid, on the other hand, will pay for long-term care, but only if you meet the financial eligibility requirements.
Kevin Kinghorn’s practicality, expertise and experience allow him to help his clients wade through complicated issues to find custom solutions to his clients’ individual circumstances and needs. Even more, Kevin enjoys the friendships and lasting relationships that are created with his clients. If you would like to make an appointment to find out how we can help protect your legacy, call (520) 529-4000, or visit us online at www.KHarizona.com.