Medicare What's Buzzing

Most Americans want the choice of a government-administered health plan, like Medicare

Written by Diane Archer

A December 2014 New York Times/CBS News poll shows that almost six in ten Americans (59 percent) favor the choice of a government-administered health plan like Medicare. Health-care costs have become prohibitive for many. Americans want to see new solutions to rising costs.

Today, almost half of all Americans (46 percent) are finding it a hardship to afford medical care. That’s up nearly 30 percent from last year (36 percent).   Out-of-pocket costs have risen in the last few years, according to about half of the survey respondents.  And, one third of Americans say they have risen a lot.

Almost three quarters of those surveyed say that treatments have become more expensive. Increasingly, health plans are requiring people to pay a percentage of the cost of care rather than a small flat rate.

Slightly more than half of respondents (56 percent) said that they were as likely to go to the doctor now as a few years ago.  And, some (18 percent) said that they were more likely to get care.  But, almost one in four (24 percent) said that they were less likely to see the doctor today.



  • single payer expansions of medicare, eliminate supplemental premiums and co pays, end diabetic discrimination of dental and eye care.

  • I am a BIG fan of traditional Medicare, along with a Part D plan, since the Part D plan (at least the one I have) seems VERY reasonable about approving exceptions for drugs which aren’t on their formulary, so it’s fairly hassle-free.

    However, I agree with the previous posting that we need DENTAL benefits, or the option to buy an affordable and comprehensive dental plan, and a vision plan (with a hardware allowance) would also be a great option, again, whether added to Medicare, or as an option to purchase as a stand-alone, I’d be glad to buy that separately so long as it was priced such that it paid for itself with an annual vist and eye-glasses (and then some, one would hope.

  • I agree but unfortunetly Dentist are a bit greedy. The Dental insurance I hae through my former employer shows how greedy they can be and the limits quickly come into effect. I would be afraid of any limits that are impossed by medicare coverage.

  • I wouldn’t say that dentists are greedy, per se, I’d say that dental work, depending what it is, can be pricey, and dental plans as a whole, offer very limited coverage. Most traditional employer-sponsored dental plans offer preventive care services like exams, cleanings, and x-rays at 100%, no deductible. Then, Class I services like fillings and other “basic restorative” items would be covered at something like 80%. Then there would be MAJOR restorative items like bridges and crowns, which are typically covered at 50%. Now remember, unless you have a Dental HMO or a Dental PPO, those payment rates are based on what is “Usual and Customary” for those procedures in your area, and your dentist may charge more than that. If you have a network plan, then you’re better off as a rule, thanks to the contracted rate discounts.

    Here’s the other problem: 98% (or more) of dental plans nationwide, group OR individual, have very limited annual maximums, in other words, the amount they will pay out per year — then stop, period, end of story. The two MOST COMMON annual maximums for dental plans in the United States across ALL carriers are $1,000 or $2,000 (that is the amount that is PAYABLE and it is PER PERSON covered on the dental plan).

    Occupational hazard, I worked for two Fortune 100 health insurance companies for well over 20 years — and the health world TYPICALLY includes dental (just not for ALL carriers), among other things.

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