Medicare is health insurance offered by the Federal government to people who are 65 or older, people under age 65 with certain disabilities, and people of any age with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) – permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant) , who meet the eligibility requirements. Medicare helps pay for health care, but does not cover all medical expenses. The United States Medicare system is managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Read these articles to determine your eligibility.
Medicare has four parts:
- Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) is the original Medicare coverage which helps pay for inpatient hospital care, and helps cover skilled nursing facility, hospice, and home health care.
- Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) is for people who qualify for Medicare. It helps cover doctors’ services, outpatient care, and home health care, and helps cover some preventative services to maintain your health and to keep certain illnesses from getting worse.
- Medicare Part C or Medicare Advantage Plans (like HMOs and PPOs), offer health coverage options run by private insurance companies approved by and under contract with Medicare. It includes Part A, Part B, and usually other coverage like prescription drugs.
- Medicare Part D is the newest addition to Medicare. It is a prescription drug option run by private insurance companies approved by and under contract with Medicare, that helps cover the cost of prescription drugs and may help lower your prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future. You must be enrolled in Medicare before you can apply for Part D coverage.