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What is Medicare?

Medicare is The United States’ health insurance program for people age 65 or older. Certain people younger than age 65 can also qualify for Medicare. Including people who have disabilities and who have permanent kidney failure. The Medicare program helps with the cost of health care, but it does not cover all medical expenses or the cost of most long-term care. You can now apply for Medicare even if you’re not ready to retire.

The Medicare health insurance plan is financed by a portion of the payroll taxes paid by workers and their employers. It also is financed in part by monthly premiums deducted from Social Security checks.

Medicare has four parts:

  • Hospital Insurance – helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (following a hospital stay), some home health care and hospice care.
  • Medical Insurance – helps pay for doctors’ services and many other medical services and supplies that are not covered by hospital insurance.
  • Medicare Advantage – plans are available in many areas. People with Medicare Parts A and B can choose to receive all of their health care services through one of these provider organizations under Part C.
  • Prescription Drug Coverage – helps pay for medications doctors prescribe for treatment.
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