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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018 Jan;66(1):25-32. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15227. Epub 2018 Jan 10.

The Health of Older Americans: A Primer on Medicare and a Local Perspective.

Author information

1
Senior PharmAssist, Durham, North Carolina.
2
Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
3
Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
4
Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Abstract

Our work with older adults, particularly those with limited incomes, has provided significant insight into the complexities of Medicare and the U.S. healthcare system. This article provides a brief history and overview of Medicare; describes the array of insurance choices Medicare beneficiaries face; and considers the effect of income, race, and health literacy on an individual's ability to navigate Medicare. We discuss how health is more than healthcare service delivery and that it takes community efforts to ensure that older adults not only understand their insurance, but also have access to other important resources that influence their health such as safe, affordable housing; food security; and transportation.

KEYWORDS:

Medicare; health literacy; income and racial disparities; insurance; social determinants of health

PMID:
29124737
DOI:
10.1111/jgs.15227
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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