What is Medicare?

According to Medicare.gov – Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD).


Part A covers the expenses you have if you’re in the hospital. In most cases, you don’t pay premiums for Part A


Part B covers many outpatient expenses. You have to purchase Part B coverage.


Part C is an alternative to “Original Medicare,” which is what we just described in Part A & B. Part C includes a range of health plans that are administered by private insurance companies but paid for (in part) by Medicare. This is also known as “Medicare Advantage,” and by law, such plans must cover all the same services that would normally be coverage by Parts A & B (but may also offer additional benefits).


Part D is insurance for outpatient prescription drugs. These plans (sometimes called “PDPs”) add drug coverage to Original Medicare and may be included in Part C Medicare Advantage Plans.

Medicare Supplements (Medigap Insurance)

A Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy, sold by private companies, can help pay some of the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.

Some Medigap policies also offer coverage for services that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like medical care when you travel outside the U.S. If you have Original Medicare and you buy a Medigap policy, Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for covered health care costs. Then your Medigap policy pays its share.

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