Social Insurance and the Landscape of Needs in America

Published: 2019-10-08 07:30:00
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Social Security refers to a social welfare program where one participates in it as a public right. In the United States, both employers and employees are required to contribute into social security kitty through taxation. Once a person attains the retirement age, he is eligible for such benefits. Also, one only receives the benefits based on how much he or she contributed through Social Security taxes. Those who earned high income during their working period will receive greater security benefits as compared to those who earned less. Most common types of social welfare are Medicare, Workers Compensation, and Unemployment programs. Hence, through various types of social security benefits, the government helps to prevent suffering not only during old age but also in the case of disability and challenging financial periods. Social Security programs also benefit family and dependents of the deceased workers (Feldstein & Liebman, 2002).

Medicare Program

Medicare is the United States health insurance program. It is for those who are 65 years of age or older. However, those who are below the 65 years age bracket can qualify if they have disabilities or permanent kidney failure. Medicare program has two trust funds. They include Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund (SMI) and the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund (HI). The HI helps in paying home health services because of hospital stay, skilled nursing services and hospice care for the physically challenged and aging patients. On the other hand, SMI helps pay a physician, home health, outpatient and other medical services for the physically challenged and aged patients. It also consists of a package that provides drug subsidies for low-income enrollees. With the requirement that one has to enroll as a Hospice, I do not have a personal security. Therefore, it is important that the government modify the program to allow individuals to formulate insurance packages that suit them (Goss, 2010).

Unemployment Security Program

The purpose of unemployment insurance programs is to provide regular remunerations to members of the U.S labor force who are involuntarily rendered unemployed but are willing to accept appropriate employment. Looking at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some factors are major causes of unemployment in the U.S. the main factors are recession leading to employee layoffs and poor wages. Unemployment insurance programs cover all workers in the United States. They include both federal civilian and former military officers. Benefits of such persons are financed via federal funds. However, the state administers those funds and pays the beneficiaries by the state laws (Engen & Gruber, 2001).

Worker's Compensation

It is also known as workers comp. Worker's Compensation is an insurance program mandated by the state. It provides compensation to those employees who are suffering from job-related injuries or illness. Each state is governed by its laws on how regarding workers compensation. The program ensures that an injured or sick worker is entitled to compensation benefits in spite of who is at fault. Therefore, he or she cannot sue the employer for damages caused by injuries. Despite its importance to the American workers, Workers Compensation program is often facing higher compensation risks. The risk is because of the many injured patients who eventually turn disable after a long treatment. Hence, the program should be modified by improving the health care services to injured workers. Such move will reduce long-term disability by 50% hence, reducing compensation costs (Sengupta, Reno, Burton, & Baldwin, 2012).

In conclusion, Social Security programs prevent suffering to both individuals and their dependants. It is imperative that everyone is covered under social security programs such as unemployment, employee compensation and Medicare programs to prevent them from suffering in times of ill health or financial difficulties after a job loss or retirements.

References

Engen, E. M., & Gruber, J. (2001). Unemployment insurance and precautionary saving. Journal of monetary Economics, 47(3), 545-579.

Goss, S. C. (2010). Future Financial Status of the Social Security Program, The. Soc. Sec. Bull., 70, 111.

Feldstein, M., & Liebman, J. B. (2002). Social security. Handbook of public economics, 4, 2245-2324.

Sengupta, I., Reno, V. P., Burton Jr, J. F., & Baldwin, M. L. (2012). Workers compensation: Benefits, coverage, and costs, 2010. National Academy of Social Insurance.

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