Medicare Basics

What is Medicare?

Medicare is health insurance for the following:

  • People 65 or 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)

Medicare is a federal health insurance program that pays some of the health care expenses for people who are 65 or older. It will also pay for health care for people who are eligible because of a disability or qualifying health condition.

Download a Copy of the 2014 Medicare and You Booklet

The Different Parts of Medicare

The different parts of Medicare help cover specific services:

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)

 

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)

  • Helps cover doctors’ and other health care providers’ services, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, and home health care
  • Helps cover some preventive services to help maintain your health and to keep certain illnesses from getting worse

 

Medicare Part C (also known as Medicare Advantage)

  • Offers health plan options run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies
  • Medicare Advantage Plans are a way to get the benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B
  • Most Medicare Advantage Plans cover Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D)
  • Some Medicare Advantage Plans may include extra benefits for an extra cost

 

Medicare Part D (Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage)

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

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