What is Medicare?

Medicare is health insurance for:

  • People 65 or older

  • Many people under 65 with disabilities

  • People of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ERSD)

The parts of Medicare include:

Part A (Hospital Insurance)

  • Inpatient care in hospitals

  • Skilled nursing facility care

  • Hospice care

  • Home health care

Part B (Medical Insurance)

  • Services from doctors and other health care providers

  • Outpatient care

  • Home health care

  • Durable medical equipment (like wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, and other equipment)

  • Many preventive services (like screenings, shots or vaccines, and yearly "Wellness"

  • visits)

Part D (Drug Coverage)

  • Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs (including many recommended shots or vaccines)

  • Plans that offer Medicare drug coverage are run by private insurance companies that follow rules set by Medicare

Your Medicare Options

Original Medicare

  • Original Medicare includes Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance).

  • If you want prescription drug coverage, you can join a separate Medicare drug plan (Part D).

  • To help pay your out-of-pocket costs in Original Medicare (like your 20% coinsurance), you can also shop for and buy supplemental coverage (Medigap).

  • You can use any doctor or hospital that takes Medicare, anywhere in the U.S.

Medicare Advantage (also known as Part C)

  • Medicare Advantage is an all-in-one alternative to Original Medicare. These bundled plans include Part A, Part B and usually Part D.

  • Plans may have lower out-of-pocket costs than Original Medicare.

  • In most cases, you'll need to use doctors who are in the plan's network.

  • Most plans offer extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn't cover like vision, hearing, dental and more.