What is Medicare?

Medicare is a health insurance program created by the United States Government to subsidize healthcare services to people that have reached the age of 65 who didn’t have health insurance coverage. Medicare is overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Services (CMS), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This program also extends coverage for individuals with particular disabilities, and those who have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or End-Stage Renal Disease.

Medicare Eligibility

Medicare eligibility depends on specific criteria. Anyone who has lived in the United States for at least five years and is about the age of 65 qualifies for Medicare coverage. People under the age of 65 may qualify for Medicare if they receive Social Security Disability Insurance. However, those who receive Social Security disability benefits need to wait for two years after receiving their first check before being eligible for this program. 

Anyone with kidney failure or ALS automatically qualifies for Medicare, no matter the age of the applicant. If you are insured, or your spouse has contributed to Medicare for ten years or more through payroll taxes, they can get premium-free Medicare Part A. However, the other parts of the Medicare program require you to pay for premiums.

Medicare is funded through several different sources. For example, the United States taxpayers contribute to the Medicare program through the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). This goes towards Medicare deductions and Social Security. As of 2020, workers contribute a total of 7.65 percent of their paychecks to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act: 1.45 percent to Medicare, and 6.2 percent to Social Security. In addition, employers pay the same percentage of money on behalf of the employee.

While Medicare offers consumers more choice in terms of coverage and costs, it also introduces complexity for the people looking to sign up. The decisions surrounding this program can become overwhelming without the right help. 

Here at Wise Up Financial, we offer you the resources you need to make confident decisions.