Calculate How Much Improved Medicare for All Could Save You!
Governor Newsom’s Healthy California for All Commission found that over ten years, publicly funded guaranteed health care could save Californians $500 billion and more than 40,000 lives. This calculator provides estimates of the savings you could receive if we enact Improved Medicare for All (or single payer), a program to cover all medically necessary care with no premiums, co-payments, or deductibles.
Please answer the following questions. If you don’t have the exact figures, reasonable estimates are okay. Your answers are anonymous.
Improved Medicare for All (also known as single payer or guaranteed health care) has all the advantages of publicly financed Medicare — accountable, financially efficient, and not-for-profit — and is improved by:
covering everyone with the same benefits
starting at birth
using program savings to pay for more benefits
eliminating deductibles, co-payments, and the need for supplemental insurance
replacing all current insurance (including Medi-Cal, employer-sponsored, and individual market) with a better program
The calculator compares what individuals or families currently spend to what they would pay under Improved Medicare for All. It calculates your current spending by adding up your premiums and out-of-pocket costs (deductibles, co-payments, and uncovered services). It calculates what you would spend to pay for Improved Medicare for All according to your income.
Under Improved Medicare for All, premiums and all out-of-pocket costs (deductibles, co-payments, uncovered services) will disappear and be replaced by taxes required to fund the program. You would pay your share of the added taxes.
To fund Improved Medicare for All in California, $223 billion in new taxes would be needed according to the Healthy California for All Commission convened by Governor Newsom. The calculator assumes there would be a progressive payroll tax on salary starting at $70,000 per year (shared between employee and employer), a progressive income tax starting at $300,000 per year, and a 2% sales tax. There would also be a wealth tax on the richest 1%, and a tax on corporate profits.
The Healthy California for All Commission predicted that a guaranteed healthcare system could save Californians $500 billion and more than 40,000 lives over ten years. Overall spending will be less than under the current system for nearly everyone (except very high-income earners and corporations) so the vast majority of working families will save money and have all healthcare needs guaranteed. A few with very low current health care expenses could see a small increase but will save if their expenses rise.
Long-term care is not included because it was not part of the tax package described by the Healthy California for All Commission. (The Commission reported that if Improved Medicare for All covered long-term care, there would still be savings but they would be reduced. A future version of the calculator might include long-term care.)
Premiums include payments by individuals or families plus those from an employer. (50% of the employer contribution comes from wages or salary you would have received, according to studies of compensation.)
Out-of-pocket expenses include deductibles, co-payments, and uncovered health care costs including dental care, medications, vision and hearing aids, etc.
Taxes that fund our current healthcare system include federal, state, and local taxes on income, payroll, sales, and property.
Part A, for hospital care, has no premiums. It's paid through existing taxes.
Part B covers physician care and may also be used to help pay for a Medicare health plan (called Medicare Advantage). There is a monthly premium that can be deducted by Social Security or paid directly.
Some people pay an additional premium to join a Medicare health plan such as Medicare Advantage.
Some people pay for Part D which covers outpatient drugs.
People with high incomes may pay extra for Parts B and D.
Some people in traditional (original) Medicare (which permits seeing any doctor) also buy a supplemental Medigap private insurance plan to cover deductibles and cost-sharing.
People dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid may not have to pay premiums.
For out-of-pocket costs (deductibles, co-payments, and uncovered services), the amount you pay out-of-pocket varies depending on which Medicare and supplemental coverage you have.
The calculator reports the net savings for the person or family, equal to:
A) Savings from avoiding reported premiums and out-of-pocket costs (deductibles, co-pays, uncovered services)
B) Added taxes (payroll, income, sales)
For families with high income (for example, $350,000) and/or very low current health care expenses, savings could be negative. In other words, paying more under Medicare for All. However, with all medically necessary care guaranteed, it would likely be a richer benefit for most.