How does the elderly care system work in the USA?
My acquaintance with medicine in the United States began as a translator. It was this part-time job that I chose in the first months after moving to the States, translating to medical appointments, communicating with the medical staff and even in the operating rooms.
The first thing that shocked me in American medicine is that an old poor grandmother who uses social insurance Medicare, and a millionaire who came to be treated from overseas for a lot of money - everyone usually spends 10 minutes at the doctor and waits for service for an hour, and the millionaire had to wait even longer until the hospital checked the availability of the deposit.
Unlike Kiev, where private and public hospitals cannot be confused, they are so different, almost all hospitals in the United States are private, but the patient's expenses are paid from different sources - his own pocket, private insurance or from the state. And the money is a lot. Purchasing insurance is often burdensome for a family. If the family income is slightly above average, it loses the right to social insurance and must pay several hundred dollars a month for it itself.
My friend Tatiana teaches several courses at the university, has a husband - the deputy head of the company for sewing men's clothing. Insurance costs about $ 500 a month for two of them. To reduce the load and not be fined, they buy insurance for not a full year. Even private insurance usually does not cover the entire cost.
“You don’t understand - even if there is insurance, bills keep coming,” Tatiana complains.
The topic of the medical system is a sensitive topic in the United States, it is actively discussed in society and is an obligatory element of the political programs of parties. Even at the Miss USA beauty pageant, the winner was embarrassed by the question of medicine, and her response that health care is a luxury, not a human right, caused a lot of noise on social networks.
“To have access to insurance, you must first have a job,” the beauty explained, but after criticism from the press, she changed her mind and simply noted that she believed she was lucky with insurance, because she works for the government.
Newly crowned Miss USA Kara McCullough is being criticized for saying health care is a "privilege." https://t.co/p99kWhwO0u pic.twitter.com/6mrVz2PRFr
- Fox News (@FoxNews) May 15, 2017
For older people, the situation is very different. Caring for the elderly in the United States is a high priority, and social programs cover much more than the cost of treatment.
If a person older than 65 has not been able to manage the household independently, take care of himself and his housing and does not have the money to pay for these services, then the state pays for this care.
His trustee can be anyone. One day a young woman came to see a doctor with her grandmother.
“What a caring relative!” I thought. Subsequently, it turned out that the grandmother was lonely, and her neighbor took care of her, who devotes several hours a day to this and receives payment from social services.
Often, someone in the family takes care of the senior relative, receiving compensation from the state. At the same time, a social worker regularly visits such a family and carefully checks whether an elderly person is being offended. If, for example, the grandmother, whom the son-in-law is caring for, has minor complaints about him, then the social worker takes such complaints very seriously and may forbid the son-in-law to continue to act as a guardian.
The payment for the care is decent. For example, a friend of mine, an accountant, a middle-aged woman, was able to quit her job and deal with her old mother for 3 years.
Indeed, society is judged by how it cares for the elderly. Young people are mainly guided by Amosov's principle “get health yourself” and are actively involved in sports and disease prevention.
The original article was published on the website “Voice of America”And reprinted with permission of the author.
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