Medicare 101

Medicare Expert Series: The Potential Impact of Medicare for All on Medicare Beneficiaries 

There has been a lot of talk about Medicare for All recently – both positive and negative. And no matter which side of the debate you find yourself on, you may be curious about the effect Medicare for All could have on you and your Medicare benefits. 

When thinking about this, Medicare expert John Barkett asks us to remember a few things:

1. We are early in this debate

“Not until there is a president who supports Medicare for All in the White House does one need to be concerned about whether or not that’s the direction health care is going,” Barkett says. 

2. Medicare as we know it likely wouldn't change much

“Many of the plans that are being supported by Democratic candidates in the 2020 primary don’t actually change current Medicare that much,” he assures us. 

Many of these plans leave Medicare as it is, and make changes to private insurance, Medicaid, or individual marketplace coverage. These types of changes wouldn’t affect current Medicare beneficiaries. 

3. We may or may not see large tax increases to help support Medicare for All 

Some of the worry about Medicare for All comes from a fear of large tax increases. But according to Barkett, “There are different flavors of Medicare for All, some of which require big tax increases – but others that don’t.” 

If you have concerns about tax increases or Medicare for All in general, Barkett urges you to do two things: 

  • Contact your members of Congress
  • Vote 

“That way” he says, “You’ll know that your voice is heard and your representatives can take that into account the next time they are debating whether to move to something like Medicare for All.”

The bottom line: Until we have a president who supports Medicare for All, it will likely be a long time before we see any major changes to Medicare or the way it works for beneficiaries.

For more insights from John Barkett on this topic, watch the full video below. 

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