Medicare is turning 50 this week. In July 1965, President Johnson led Congress to create a federal health insurance program under the Social Security Act. Medicare covers people over 65 years old and younger people with certain disabilities or diseases. According to recent Yale University study, Americans on Medicare are spending less time in the hospital, living longer, and spending less on hospital visits as compared to 15 years ago. The Yale study focused on Medicare beneficiaries over 65 years of age between the years of 1999 and 2013 and the trends in mortality, hospitalizations, and expenditures in that time.  All the measured trends decreased in the time examined; however the cost per inpatient death rose $2000 between 1999 and 2009,

but then fell $4000 by 2013—$2000 less than the initial figure.  The out-of-pocket expenses for medical services dropped an average of almost $500 in the years studied.   Medicare is funded through the US Treasury, though patients still have some out-of-pocket expenses associated with their medical care.  The Affordable Care Act expanded Medicare benefits and funding to help those in need. There are four different parts of Medicare: • Part A covers hospital stays, nursing facility costs, hospice care, and some home health • Part B covers doctors’ visits, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventative services • Part C is offered by private companies that contract with Medicare to provide Part A and B benefits • Part D covers prescription drugs, also through private companies   In a previous…

The Children/Youth With Special Health Care Needs (shortened as CSHCN or CYSHCN) is a program in each state that provides medical care and other related services for special needs children. These programs are funded by grants from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), commonly referred to as Title V, Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grants. Similar to the Children's Health Insurance Program (or CHIP), the programs are federally funded but operate independently at the state level. It was originally enacted in 1935 as part of the Social Security Act, and converted to a Block Grant Program in 1981. Who it Serves The program assists with the cost of medical care specifically for special needs children. The HRSA defines special needs children as

“those who have or are at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally.” This definition is purposefully broad, covering and including a large number of diagnoses. According to their 2011/2012 survey there are approximately 14.6 million children in the United States have special care needs, roughly 19.8% of children. And about 65% of these children “experience more complex service needs that go beyond a primary need for prescription medications to manage their health condition.” Some of the most common health issues include ADD/ADHD, Depression, Speech Problems, Asthma, and Learning Disabilities. 41.1% of Children with Special Health Care Needs experience two or more…