By Michael T. O’DonnellPublished Aug. 12, 2018 11:33:22In the past few years, the U.N. has become the focus of a growing number of questions about how America’s elderly should be managed.
The issue of who pays for health care and what kind of care they get has become a flashpoint in a debate over whether America’s seniors should have to pay the full price of a lifetime of care.
More than a quarter of all U. S. residents aged 65 and older live in counties that do not cover at least some of their health care costs, according to the latest data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
That means more than two-thirds of U.s. residents live in a county that does not have enough money to cover the cost of their own care, according a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Center for Retirement Research at the University of Michigan.
The findings are the latest evidence that the U-S.
healthcare system is failing seniors, many of whom rely on Medicare to supplement their earnings and are often left in financial dire straits, says Bruce Riedl, director of health care policy at the foundation.
He calls it a health care crisis that has become so serious that some people are resorting to taking on more costly forms of care, like nursing homes.
The numbers are troubling because most of them were never covered by Medicare in the first place.
And many of them have become unaffordable because they are covered by Medicaid.
The U.K. study found that in counties without Medicare coverage, the median age of seniors in rural areas was an average of 65, a level that has dropped to 59 for older residents in urban areas.
In contrast, in counties with Medicare coverage the median was 62 for seniors 65 and over.
In many cases, the decline in the median life expectancy has been attributed to the aging of the population, according for example to the UMass Lowell study, which found that people in rural counties are significantly more likely to die in the next 10 years than people living in urban counties.
In contrast, the report said that in urban, higher-income counties, the life expectancy is almost identical to rural counties, with no change in life expectancy for seniors.
In rural areas, the percentage of people aged 65 or older without health insurance has dropped from 25 percent in 2015 to 22 percent in 2016.
The data is particularly troubling because there is no national plan to pay for all of the cost for the elderly, and the administration is currently looking for $500 billion in funding from Congress to do just that, Riedll said.
Medicare is a lifeline for many elderly people, and they have struggled to make ends meet in recent years, with many living in poverty and with their insurance plans either failing to cover them or being cancelled.
Riedl says the government should look at other approaches to paying for seniors’ care, such as expanding Medicaid and making the program more affordable.
“What we need is a plan to invest in the most effective ways to get to the end of life,” he said.
“And that’s what we’re going to be focusing on with this work, which is how we can help seniors with the best way to pay their medical bills.”