Medicare far from a 'free ride' as some believe

June 16, 2014 

Lewis Byrd is right to complain. I think that many younger people feel that Medicare is a "free ride."

Hardly! You pay $104 a month with a yearly deductible of $150 for doctors visits, services, etc. each January.

Then it pays 80 percent of "allowed" charges. The Medicare D program, forced on everyone under the deceitful premise that it would "save money," requires you to pay another $40-$50 a month and then co-pays, which mostly are on Tier 2 and 3 rates at a cost of $45 per prescription and up.

They are trying now to require a $350 deductible up front on that program as well!

With hospitalizations, the first $1,200 is on you and then 20 percent of all "approved" charges are yours as well. When you live on a limited income, that is pretty expensive insurance.

Oh, and it goes up every year. Of course, once you turn 65, it's another story. A supplement costs minimally $250 additionally a month!

When you need assisted living, add $3,500 and up per month.

What income you have is forfeit when you finally go into nursing care from there, and Medicare gets to decide what services are "necessary" after that -- even to deny physical restorative therapy.

So, many people cannot afford medical care on Medicare. They have to cut their visits, just like Lewis said. Or their medications. Or their food. Or divorce their spouse.

If your are among those who think that Medicare is overly cheap, add it up. Now the only net left for those in dire need is Medicaid, and the government is trying to finish that.

Any great nation is judged by the care it provides for its disabled (don't even get me started on the veterans abuse), the children and the elderly. So will we be. Amen.

Judith Russett

Bradenton

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