With a global health crisis looming worldwide, the global population is getting sicker than ever. Most, if not all, drown in medical debts without enough monetary assistance and subsidies. Fortunately, there are federal healthcare insurance programs to help ease the financial burdens of getting sick and injured. Among them is the federal health insurance called Medicare.

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But with the unforeseeable and massive hit of the coronavirus, insurance trust funds are swiftly running out of money. The consequences, too, shall reflect on the health and safety of the people of Maryland.

With that in mind, here is all you need to know about the imminent threat of Medicare shortage and how it threatens the future of healthcare in the state of Maryland:

An Overview of Medicare

Medicare is a federal government program that provides health insurance to eligible recipients. In June 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law to help the sick and elderly meet hospital and overall healthcare expenses. As of today, approximately 64 million Americans depend on Medicare to pay for health services.

There are requirements to qualify for Medicare assistance. Generally, you must be a U.S. citizen aged 65 or older and a resident for at least five years. Younger people with disabilities may also qualify.

Moreover, if you are interested in Medicare sales, you can study the Medicare agent guide from Nectar Marketplace and make money by helping people achieve the best plans!

What Medicare Does and Doesn’t Cover

Like all insurance policies, Medicare’s coverage is finite. There are four parts to the program that cover varying health costs. Part A shoulders inpatient care, skilled nursing care, hospice care, and home health care fees, including lab tests and surgeries. Part B pays for doctor visits, outpatient care, and medical equipment fees. Both parts are under the Original Medicare.

Part C or the Medicare Advantage allows for extra benefits from private insurance companies, which Parts A and B do not offer. Meanwhile, Part D pays for a range of prescription drugs. Original Medicare generally does not cover vision, hearing, dental, cosmetic, and long-term care. Talk to a Medicare agent today to evaluate your needs and possible healthcare plans!

What the Medicare Shortage Implies

According to the April 2020 report, Medicare trustees project that the funds for the Part A program may run dry beginning the year 2026—and that does not even take into account the major hit from the coronavirus pandemic yet. Considering the impact of COVID-19, fewer payroll taxes, and regulatory policies, budget experts foresee that funds could run out sooner.

When the monetary issue reaches insolvency, Medicare may not be able to pay for its expenses. While being insolvent does not necessarily imply bankruptcy, the program may have to cut its reimbursements to cope with the problem. Essentially, Medicare will have to pay less for the insured’s medical costs. To the people, it means more out-of-pocket expenses.

The Future of Healthcare in Maryland

According to healthinsurance.org, Medicare covers the expenses of over one million residents in Maryland. In fact, most are enrolled in the cheaper Original Medicare, and only less than 17% could afford to pay for the premiums in Medicare Advantage or Plan C. When Medicare indeed cuts its reimbursements, many Maryland citizens will suffer.

Revitalizing the healthcare system from the impact of COVID-19 is also a problem. Averaging 705 cases per day, Maryland’s future in healthcare gets dimmer as more sickness arises and insurance gets harder to acquire. If Medicare cuts its spending for inpatient and outpatient services, treatment, and hospitalization, aid for COVID-related health costs may be affected.

The Struggle for Accessible and Affordable Healthcare

Millions of people depend on Medicare to cope with the costs of healthcare. It also allows them to avoid sickness through preventive care such as vaccines, lab tests, screenings, and annual wellness visits. Not everyone can afford health insurance, to begin with. So increasing the costs of Medicare will only amplify the struggle for accessible and affordable healthcare.

While only 4.3% of the citizens in Maryland are currently uninsured, restricting Medicare even more by cost-cutting will only make it beyond the reach of those who need it. Given the pandemic, people without health insurance are exposed to more danger. People are getting more ill, and it only makes the issue of Medicare shortage increasingly pertinent to address.

Final Thoughts

With the shortage of funds threatening access to Medicare, the lives and well-being of the people of Maryland are at stake. Nobody must struggle to obtain financial aid to pay medical expenses. Thus, health insurance must always be available and attainable. The appropriate authorities must move to ensure the solvency of Medicare and safeguard the people’s health.

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