Updated: Sep 22
The United States is notorious for its expensive and inaccessible medical insurance system. 1 in 10 adults who live in the U.S. owe medical debt, with the total debt reaching at least $196 billion. One of the only free ways to get healthcare is through the government-funded program of Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare targets senior citizens who are 65 years or older while Medicaid is more income based and has annual salary qualifications for its benefits.
Within Medicare, there exists a program called Medicare Advantage, which is a “system of competing private health plans offered as an alternative to traditional Medicare” (Restoring America). Basically, Medicare Advantage is a way for private companies to extend their client base to senior citizens who would otherwise just have Medicare. This allows private insurance companies to gain new clients that would normally get free insurance from the government, while also allowing senior citizens to get access to better quality healthcare. Medicare Advantage has also worked in decreasing racial and ethnic health disparities in patients by allowing previously disadvantaged groups to access quality healthcare.
Now, more than half of the senior citizens who qualify for Medicare are enrolled in Medicare Advantage, the numbers being over 30 million for this special program. Within this number, over a third identify as belonging to a minority racial group, and more than half of the clients who identify as Hispanic of Black are enrolled in Medicare Advantage rather than traditional Medicare. These clients have expressed receiving better health care from Medicare Advantage compared to traditional Medicare. Though the program lacks in including lower-income beneficiaries with more complex problems, this program is a good basis for reforming the larger system of Medicare.
The success of Medicare Advantage in decreasing racial disparities is a sign that allowing special programs to co-exist with traditional government-funded programs is a viable way to address our current issues. Medicare Advantage is a mutually beneficial program where private insurance companies expand their clientail while allowing new clients to own quality healthcare. Expanding this program to Medicaid, which is income based, will help in addressing the inequalities of our healthcare system for a larger audience past just senior citizens.
As older patients struggle to navigate the barriers of care (transportation, housing, etc), Bloomwell makes it easy for providers and payers to integrate social care into existing EHRs and effectively manage value-based care programs like Chronic Care Management, Remote Patient Monitoring, Behavioral Health Integration and more. Learn more about Medicare Advantage here.
We hope this story inspires you to demand more. Your journey to FEEL well with Bloomwell starts today.
The Bloomwell Team