MEDICARE FOR ALL AND SINGLE PAYER EXPLANATION
This is a non-political view from an agent that has dedicated most of his life to work with Medicare insurance and the senior community.
Most of the people that will be reading this article have been my clients for many years, and some for over a decade, and know that we are fully committed to our clients and their retirement insurance needs, so my motivation to write this article is the wellbeing of my clients, and of my family because ultimately this will affect every American.
Let’s go over step by step over the impact that this could have in your life if someone in
Washington decides to move forward with Medicare for all or Single payer, and let’s brake it in 4 major categories which are:
1-choice of insurance carrier
3-Choice and availability of doctors with increased wait times to receive services
5- Quality of services.
1-Choice of insurance carriers: This is basically the easiest one to address because according to the politicians making a run for this, there won’t be a need for any insurance carriers because they are eliminating deductibles and coinsurance, which at first glance sounds good except this creates some serious problems because you would be subject to accept the benefits given to you by Medicare and there wouldn’t be any other choices so if Medicare would restrict the services that you are currently getting , you would have no options to get additional services or simply the services you have right now, no matter if you have the financial resources to pay for them, or if you don’t. In one word, everyone will have the same benefits and you couldn’t purchase extra insurance or benefits.
*Medicare for all was promoted on Bernie Sanders Town hall on April 2019 and endorsed by Sen Kirsten Gillibrand.
2-Benefits: Medicare has been cutting on the amount of services and benefits offered, for example the new in observation hospitalization vs inpatient policy that has left so many seniors with thousands of dollars in debt, multiple colonoscopies, restriction on number of physicals during the year, etc.
3-Choice and availability of doctors: Currently Medicare is reimbursing physicians at a rate of 60% of the billed amounts to Medicare. I want you to imagine what would happen if they
simply decide to cut reimbursements and pay them even less than 50% of the billed amounts…
Currently the doctors are getting the difference from insurance companies from people that either have a Medicare supplement plans or an Advantage plan, so if this plans no longer exist, one of 2 things will happen, either the doctors will not accept Medicare, or you will have to be responsible for paying them the difference.
Lastly, the number of qualified physicians will be reduced, the wait times to see the doctors will be greatly increased, as it is in other countries with socialized medicine such as Canada and Europe where you will have to wait long times to get any kind of procedures done and you will be the one suffering the consequences because people will get sicker, and this will simply congest emergency rooms even more that they are today.
4-Cost: We all have noticed over time how your monthly Medicare deductions or the cost of Medicare has been going up when you get your social security check, so imagine if the doctors start refusing to accept the Medicare assignments because they have no other entity to reimburse them (insurance carriers) what will happen to your already high monthly Medicare payment.
Yes, guess what, you will continue to get increases on your monthly Medicare premiums, which means your Social security check will continue to get smaller and smaller, and for you that have a hard time making it every month, especially if your only income is your social security check, and it will impact your personal life on life normal necessities such as paying for food, gas, transportation, or whatever you need to live on a month to month basis.
5-Quality of services:
How much time will your doctor have to spend with you if he gets paid very little to see you?
How long will you have to wait at the ER?
How long to get anything done?
Why would a good doctor agree to take a small reimbursement when he can start a concierge service and charge people that have a lot of money for the privilege of seeing them, rather than see a million patients every day and not get compensated for their time?
Ultimately the United States has the best doctors, and Hospitals in the world, and we are known internationally as the Gold Standard in Medicine, do you really want that to change so we can become a third world country when it comes to our Medicine, I know that most people will agree with me on this point and I personally prefer what I see now than the uncertainties of the unknown, and I know that socialized medicine does not work.
My wife and I have had the fortune to be able to travel abroad, and experience these issues first hand, and I would no change our Gold Standard from any other type of standard in the world.
Medicare Insurance Specialist
Managing General Agent Medigaptoday LLC