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What’s Medicare

Medicare is health insurance for individuals aged 65 or older and certain disabled individuals under 65. Depending on your coverage, benefits may include Hospital Insurance, Medical Insurance and Prescription Drug costs.

Medicare is health insurance for:

  • People 65 pr older
  • People under 65 with certain disabilities
  • People of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant)

What are the different parts of Medicare?

Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps cover:

  • Inpatient care in hospitals
  • Skilled nursing facility care
  • Hospice care
  • Home health care

Usually, you don’t pay a monthly premium for Part A coverage if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working. This is sometimes called premium-free Part A. If you aren’t eligible for premium-free Part A, you may able to buy Part A, and pay a premium.

Part B (Medical Insurance) helps cover:

  • Services from doctors and other health care providers
  • Outpatient care
  • Home health care
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Some preventive services

Most people pay the standard monthly Part B premium.

Note: You may want to get coverage that fills gaps in Original Medicare coverage. You can choose to buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy from a private company.

What are the different parts of Medicare? (continued)

Part C (Medicare Advantage):

  • Includes all benefits and service covered under Parts A and B
  • Usually includes Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) as part of the plan
  • Run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies
  • May include extra benefits and services for an extra cost

Part D (Medicare prescription drug coverage):

  • Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs
  • Run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies
  • May help lower your prescription drug cost and help protect against higher costs in the future

Note: If you have limited income and resources, you may qualify for help paying your health care and prescription drug costs. For more information, visit socialsecurity.gov, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213, or contact your local State MEdical Assistance (Medicaid) office.