The paying Medicare’s cost-sharing requirements and funding

The death of a close relative can be a taxing situation, both financially and emotionally. How much does everything cost? Who’s paying for it? What can one do? Luckily within Medicaid, “a means-tested entitlement program that provides health coverage to low-income Americans, serves as an important complement to Medicare by assisting low-income Medicare beneficiaries with Medicare premiums and cost-sharing, and by providing coverage for prescription drugs and long-term care services not available through Medicare” from the encyclopedia (Medicaid), there are options to choose from to deal with these types of situations such as such as nursing home, home care, and hospice. According to Bill Fay, a journalist who focuses on frugal living, he stated that “in 2010, approximately 1.58 million patients received hospice care in more than 3,500 Medicare-certified hospice agencies…. and in 2011 alone, 2,513,171 Americans died. (Fay) Medicaid had to pay for the end of life care of almost two million lives. Those millions had families who cared for them. So many people are involved in this process: the doctors, the nurses, the families, the friends. Medicaid helps ease these families by taking care of the costs. This care for the terminally ill costs money from the pockets of the government and the death of millions is costly.”Medicaid is a major source of financing for end-of-life care, the period of time when patients are terminally ill six months to live” (Tilly and Wiener 3). Their role “varies, depending upon the population under consideration…. For the dually eligible population…Medicaid supplements Medicare by paying Medicare’s cost-sharing requirements and funding such services as outpatient prescription drugs and long-term care” (Tilly and Wiener 8). Due to Medicaids support, families are being financially helped. They will not have to worry as much about the financial side of the situation. However, the government is paying for these expenses.The Costs of it allAccording to Billy Fay, “Medicaid… pays at least 95 percent of room and board costs for hospice patients in a nursing home” (Fay). Which is just one of the options for the terminally ill. According to the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services financial report,  and according to Kristen Fan, the director of the Financial Management Group from the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services, “The number of deemed hospices increased from 278 in FY 2008 to 1,424 in FY 2013, a 412 percent increase” (Fan). This shows that the increase of hospice services depicts the population’s need for them. Medicaid is already paying almost 100 percent, now they will need to pay 100 percent for quadruple the amount of hospices. He also states that “Children with disabilities or adults who meet Medicaid’s financial eligibility criteria are fully covered for end-of-life care” (Fay). These people are covered completely and do not have to worry at all about finances and they get to focus on their loved ones.The daily Medicaid hospice payment rates for the following services for the FY 2018 are as followed: “Routine Home Care (including the service intensity add-on) = $193.03, Routine Home Care (Days 61+)= $151.61, Service Intensity Add-On = $40.70, Continuous Home Care = $976.80, Inpatient Respite Care = $181.87, and General Inpatient Care = $743.55” (Fan). This shows only a portion of the expenses Medicaid has to cover, which does not include those with disabilities or of older ages. Nor does it include the hospice providers that have not submitted the required quality data. The Government PaysPeople who are on their deathbed are able to extend life by using medicaid. However, there are various elements in the paying process. The government pays for the expenses if one chooses to live for a few more months. Producer Andy court interviewing Dr. Byock, a doctor at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, who discuss treatments and the healthcare system and says “…modern medicine has become so good at keeping the terminally ill alive by treating the complications of underlying disease that the inevitable process of dying has become much harder and is often prolonged unnecessarily” (Court). The longer their life is prolonged the more costly it gets. Even though the people are not paying, there is a lot of money coming out of the government to support this. According to Medicaid, in the “Beginning of March 23, 2010, with the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and CHIP-eligible individuals under age 21 who elect the hospice benefit no longer have to waive services for the cure or treatment of the terminal condition and can receive both curative care and hospice care for the terminal condition” (Hospice Benefits). Meaning more money is spent to cover both the cost of taking care of the patient and trying to cure them. Which saves the terminally ill money but increases the cost Medicaid has to cover.Technological AdvancesIn addition, there have been advancements in technology. Since they are up and coming and new, it is uncertain if the technology will work. A PhD holder and Professor of Economics and Health Policy, Martin Gaynors, presents a report about Health Care Spending in the United States, states that “Very few technological advances in medicine are cost-saving. They mostly are cost- increasing…. Advances improve medicine and make it more valuable. Hence, consumption increases, as we would expect if a good becomes more valuable.” More technology created to try to cure the terminally ill or try to comfort people at the end of life, increase the amount of money the government needs to pay for. For example, Martin Gaynor discusses a new invention to try to cure prostate cancer. The Proton Beam therapy is used to do this, but it is uncertain if the new processes works and it cost $120 billion to build (Gaynor). The prices of these new technologies increase and cost medicaid millions more than before. This proves that since new technology is emerging and increasing, so is the health care price to be able to compensate for all the money spent on the new technology. RecommendationThe government should continue to provide payments for the necessities that the terminally ill need. The treatments and the medications that are covered should continue to be provided to help the people in need. Medicaid is supported by the government which pays for most of those who are at the end of their lives. They also pay for what is not included in Medicare. Medicaid has helped a variety of people live longer. However, the government does have to pay for most of it which is taxing for Medicaid. The limitations of paying for all of the medication of the terminally ill is that it will cause the government to lose an excessive amount of money due the increase of people who use Medicaid.  The government will be impacted more than it has already with all the new payments and the terminally ill will be covered.