Medicare & BV County

Thursday, September 28, 2000

Community depends on the much-debated federal program, 20% of local residents now on Medicare.

Medicare is one of the most important federal programs for residents of Buena Vista County. According to information provided by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), 3,838 residents of Buena Vista County, or 19.7 percent of the local population, were enrolled in the Medicare program as of July 1,1998. This same report indicated that 475,962 residents of Iowa, or 16.6 percent of the state's population, were enrolled in Medicare at this time while 38.8 million Americans, or 14.4 of the nation's population, were enrolled in Medicare as of July 1,1998.

Medicare is a health insurance program for those aged 65 years or more, some disabled people, and certain people with permanent kidney problems. The program has two parts: hospital insurance and supplementary medical insurance.

The hospital insurance portion of the Medicare program helps pay for care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospices, and some home health care.

The supplementary medical insurance portion of the Medicare plan helps pay for doctors,outpatient hospital care, and certain other medical services such as physical and occupational services.

All persons over 65 years of age are eligible for Medicare if they or their spouse have worked for at least 10 years in Medicare covered employment and as long as they are citizens or permanent U.S. residents.

Read the rest of this article in the 9/28 Pilot Tribune.