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Medicare’s Origins

Updated: May 31

The era of Vietnam, Volkswagen buses, Jimmy Hendrix, and a new national health program for seniors called “Medicare”. Medicare was signed into law in 1965 under President Lyndon Johnson. After twenty plus years of previous administrations unsuccessful attempts to pass a health program for seniors, Medicare finally passed. Previous studies found that 56 percent of seniors over age 65 were not covered with health insurance. Medicare finally gave relief to millions of Americans in the age bracket that needed it most. Seniors are now living longer and healthier lives due to the advancements in health science. Millions of American have access to the best healthcare in the world with numerous coverage options thanks to a program called Medicare.



Medicare originally had just two parts. Those two parts are still the foundation of Medicare today. Part A hospital coverage and Part B Medical coverage is what we call “Original Medicare”


Part A

Part A has no premium for most Americans. If a person has worked and paid Medicare taxes for 40 quarters, there is no premium. If a person has not ever paid Medicare taxes, the cost is $499 per month. Most people think that Part A only pays for a hospital stay, but actually pays for much more. Let’s take a look at costs that a Medicare beneficiary would be responsible for.


Inpatient hospital

-$1,408 deductible. This amount covers your first 60 days.

-$352 per day for days 61-90

-If you were still in there after 90 days, your cost would be $704 up to 60 lifetime reserve days. These days can only be used once.


Inpatient mental care

-$1,556 deductible. This amount covers your first 60 days.

-$389 per day for days 61-90

-If you were still in there after 90 days, your cost would be $778 up to 60 lifetime reserve days. These days can only be used once.


Skilled Nursing facility

-No cost for days 1-20

-$194.50 for days 21-100

-Medicare pays nothing after 100 days.


Home health care

No cost to the Medicare beneficiary. This a great benefit for those who have a hard time leaving there home for medical care. This would include care such as physical therapy, nursing care, and other services.


Hospice care

There is fully covered by Medicare


Part B

The premium for most Americans in 2022 is $170.10. Unfortunately the part B premium goes up every year. The premium increases more as one’s income goes up as well. The threshold for 2022 is $91,000 for a single filer and $182,000. For filing jointly. Here is an overview if you’re costs if you have Part B


Deductible-yearly deductibles of $233 and typically young would pay 20% after deductible.


Doctor services-20% after deductible

Outpatient surgery-20% after deductible

Durable Medical equipment (wheelchair, walker, etc.) 20% after deductible

*some drugs are covered under Part B under certain circumstances


Conclusion: I wish I could say that these are the fixed costs from now and into the future. Unfortunately there is one thing that is consistent about Medicare costs...they go up. From looking at these costs you can see why Medicare supplements and Medicare advantage plans exist. I’m looking forward to diving into these coverages in the weeks ahead. Contact me through ncseniorsolutions if you live in North Carolina and need help with a Medicare plan. Take care until next time and don’t forget to leave you’re coments below.

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