Why Social Security and Medicare Programs Are Vital to Older Americans in Florida
Social Security and Medicare are government administered programs designed to provide income and health security to American citizens who are 65 years or older. Florida, like many other states in United States, highly require the government Social Security and Medicare programs for the stability of the economy.
These programs are very important to the Floridian economy and have become more crucial than ever due to the growing debt burdens, dwindling pensions, and increasing health care costs in United States. The social security and medicare programs are essential and offer enormous benefits to older Americans in Florida.
Social Security in Florida
Generally, social security refers to a mandated supplemental retirement system that makes use of public funds in the process of providing a degree of economic security for the public. The program was established to provide old age, disability, and survivors insurance, as well as supplemental security income for elderly or disabled people.
The program provides a threshold subsistence level below which any worker who had paid into the program cannot fall. The program is structured in a way that employers and employees are required to pay social security taxes which are connoted for providing benefits for those who have reached retirement age or are otherwise currently eligible.
In recent years, this has become a bone of contention as some current workers complain that the system is unsustainable and that after paying into the system their entire working lives, there will be nothing for them to collect in their own retirement years.
Based on this there is need to reiterate the need for social security program to older Americans in Florida.
A review of census data has shown that about 9 percent or 290,955 of older Floridians are living in poverty. Without Social Security income, an additional 37 percent of older Floridians or 1,196,395 people, would fall into poverty. Typical older Floridians depend on social security benefits earned through a lifetime of work which forms 52 percent of their family income.
For instance, in 2012, Social Security provided $55.2billion in benefits to all Floridians and $43billion in benefits to Floridians aged 65 and older. A total of 84 percent, or 2,939,422, of older Floridians received social security resulting to an average annual benefit of $14,900.
Low and middle income older adults in Florida are even more reliant on Social Security earned benefit. It keeps middle income older Floridians from falling into poverty.
Medicare in Florida
Medicare is a government administered health care program that is available to U.S. citizens and permanent legal residents of at least five years in a row who are age 65 or older. The program is designed to provide health insurance to United States citizens who are age 65 or more.
People under 65 may also qualify if they have certain health conditions such as end-stage renal disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Medicare provides guaranteed health coverage and peace of mind for older Floridians, because out of pocket costs are very high. In 2012, nearly 96 percent of older Floridians were enrolled in Medicare. In 2012, the estimated the Medicare program spent an estimated $34.3 Billion on health care services for 3,113,855 older Floridians.
Considering the increasing debt burdens, decreasing level of pensions, and sky rocketing costs of health care in United States and the world over, there is the need to ensure that the Social Security and Medicare programs are sustained to ensure that the laudable objectives for which the programs were established are achieved.