Health Care is mainly covered by government programs which include
- Medicare provided by federal government
- Medicaid provided by federal and state governments
- Children's Health Insurance
- Veteran Health Administration and
- TRICARE for military staff and their families
- Other government programs
Medicare provides health insurance to those who are 65 years and over, the under 65 years physically disabled who receive Social Security Disability Insurance, end of life renal disease and the congenitally disabled. Medicare Insurance covers 80% of the Health Care costs and the balance is covered by private health care insurance or out-of-pocket. Medicare provides Medical Insurance, Health Insurance and Prescription Drugs. This covers a wide range of medical in-patient and out-patient treatments, hospital bills, physician and nursing charges, nursing home care, laboratory tests, X-Rays, renal dialysis, chemotherapy and diagnostic tests among others.
Medicaid covers the low-income earners and their children. Being poor alone is not a qualification for eligibility people have to meet certain specified criteria. People with certain disabilities, HIV/AIDS, the elderly who need nursing care and pregnant women are also covered by Medicaid. Most children are covered by Medicaid to provide them with primary and preventive care. There are people who are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. Most people have health insurance through the government programs, their employer or their spouse's employer or through their parents' employers. For a person to qualify for federal and state health insurance programs, they have to meet specified eligible criteria. Employer health care insurance programs are cost-sharing programs where the individual contributes part of the funds while the employer contributes the other portion during the time of their employment.
Individuals purchase health care insurance for themselves and their families. There are many providers who offer affordable health insurance to employees and self-employed people and their families. Some of these providers can be browsed on the internet. They have websites which explain the services they offer. They provide online policies and quotes for their services. By using the online calculator one should be able to compare the cost of different policies and the premiums. Some health providers have online physicians and pharmacists who will advise the patients on real-time basis. The physicians prescribe the drugs after the patient or representative answers the online questionnaire which is reviewed by the physician who then prescribes the drugs. The prescription is sent to the pharmacist who discharges the drugs which are shipped to the patient.
Long-term health care insurance provides full or partial coverage depending on the type of policy taken. This covers costs for home health care, nursing home care, assisted living environments and other costs. It is important to consider this coverage if you are over 40 years because you might need it. The government has signed health care reforms which include incentives to businesses to encourage them to provide health care benefits and reforms to prohibit insurance companies from denying health care coverage and refund of claims due to pre-existing conditions among others.