What is Medicare?

Medicare is the federal government’s health insurance program for anyone 65 or older. Also covered are certain younger individuals with disabilities and those suffering from End-Stage Renal Disease or ESRD (permanent kidney failure that requires dialysis or a transplant). Each of Medicare’s four parts help cover specific health-related services.

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)

Under Part A, inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing home facility or hospice, and some home health care are covered.

Check if your hospital accepts medicare.

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)

Part B covers certain physicians’ and preventive services, outpatient care, and medical supplies.

Check if your Doctor accepts Medicare.

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans)

This health plan is offered by private insurance companies that contract with Medicare to provide all the Part A and Part B benefits. A Medicare Advantage Plan includes:

  • Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO)
  • Preferred Provider Organizations
  • Private Fee-for-Service Plans
  • Special Needs Plans
  • Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans

If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare services are covered rather than being paid for under Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans typically offer prescription drug coverage.

Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage)

Part D includes prescription drug coverage to Original Medicare and some Medicare Cost, Medicare Private Fee-for-Service, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. These plans are offered by insurance and other Medicare-approved private companies. The Medicare Advantage Plans may provide prescription drug coverage similar to what is offered through the Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.

Medicare Coverage Chart

Medicare Part A (Hospital Coverage)

  • Inpatient care in hospitals
  • Skilled nursing facility care
  • Hospice care
  • Home health care
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)

  • Services from doctors and health providers
  • Outpatient care
  • Home health care
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Some preventive services
Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage)

  • Includes all benefits and services covered under Part A and Part 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
Medicare Part D (Drug Coverage)

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

Which type of coverage do you have?

  • Check your red, white and blue Medicare card.
  • Check other insurance cards you may use. Dial the number on the back for more information about what’s covered.
  • Visit Medicare.gov to check your Medicare health or drug plan enrollment.
  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should dial 1-877-486-2048.

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