It is a program being implemented by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Medicare is divided into four parts. The first part is the Hospital insurance (Part A). This helps to pay for inpatient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility, (after hospital stay), home health care and hospice care (Social Security Online, 2010). Medicare insurance (Part B) covers doctors’ services and other medical services and supplies which are not covered by hospital insurance (Social Security Online, 2010). Medicare Advantage (Part C) can be availed of in many areas. Those under Medicare Parts A and B can opt to receive all their health care services through the provider organizations under Part C (Social Security Online, 2010). Finally, drug coverage (Part D) assists in the payment of medications for which doctors prescribe for the treatment of their ailments (Social Security Online, 2010).
Medicare is different from Medicaid. Medicaid is a program which provides aid for those who cannot afford medical services. Different states have different rules on eligibility and coverage; and in some cases, these programs do overlap and some individuals may qualify for coverage under both programs (Social Security Online, 2010).
This Medicare program is significant for public health because it helps ensure that all people receive quality health care and are entitled to improved outcomes (DeWalt, Oberlander, Carey, and Roper, 2006). Some studies also point out that Medicare programs help control the cost of health care as it improves health outcomes of the people covered. It also helps prevent illnesses and reduce waiting times with doctors; and through the coordinated efforts of the Medicare programs, many states are able to encourage practices which “improve the timelessness of care and also…reduce the rate of no-shows to clinic appointments” (DeWalt, Oberlander, Carey, and