No matter who uses health care services or accepts benefits under a health insurance plan, the end result is likely to be a hit taken to one’s savings. Health care costs in the United States are notorious for being expensive. Of course, “expensive” is a subjective assessment, but seeing as a significant percentage of Americans who file for personal bankruptcy cite
This situation gets yet worse when considering issues of elderly health. Older adults will often pejoratively refer to the aging process by terms like their bodies “breaking down,” likening getting older to the normal wear and tear on an automobile. While this takes some colorful liberties with the idea of advancement in age, in all fairness, elderly health is often strongly correlated with therapy, orthopedics and other treatments when organs and appendages break or do not seem to have the same effectiveness/range of motion.
Indeed, as adults move on in years, the likelihood they will require additional services is that much greater. As such, deductibles and premiums for senior health insurance may be rather costly. What’s more, seeing as specific treatments for seniors may not come standard in an insurance plan, senior health insurance will likely not cover the entirety of one’s medical costs. Thus, in addition to an individual senior health insurance plan (which is likely to be privately paid for with the recipient out of work), some sort of
Clearly, if all elderly health matters were sought to be resolved through out-of-pocket payments and largely unaffordable senior health insurance plans, the health care situation in America would be more of a crisis than it arguably already is. Thankfully, while provisions of elder law cannot hope to completely eliminate the problem of funding elderly health matters, they can be a clear tool for the benefit of seniors and their advocates.
The most notable congressional act to reckon with the problem of making senior health insurance affordable is the one that effected the Medicare program in the United States. Medicare, a public benefit authorized by the Social Security Administration, is symbolic of the need to devote special attention to elderly health; applicants must be 65 years or older to be eligible, among other criteria.
Other programs like Medicaid, retirement insurance and survivors benefits are important inclusions to the Social Security Act as part of the elder law development timeline.