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Medicare is a key federal health insurance program administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that was designed to pay for a variety of healthcare expenses for millions of Americans over the age of 65 as well as others with a qualified permanent disability. Similar to Social Security, Medicare is an entitlement program where most American citizens have earned the right to enrol if they have been working and paying their taxes. Depending on how long you worked, the rates for your Medicare coverage may vary.

What do different parts of Medicare encompass?

Medicare breaks down into four separate parts. Each part offers a different set of features and services to Medicare patients:

  • Part A

    Medicare hospital insurance

  • Part B

    Medical insurance

  • Part C

    Medicare Advantage plans

  • Part D

    Prescription Drug Insurance (Outpatient)

Part A and B, known as Original Medicare provides eligible individuals with coverage and access to doctors, hospitals and other health care providers who accept Medicare; Part C, Medicare Advantage, is a private health insurance; Part D offers coverage for prescription drugs.

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Healthcare Insurance Basics

The year 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare. The program has successfully kept many seniors out of poverty for five decades due to skyrocketing health care costs. Medicare beneficiaries include those over 65, younger people with certain disabilities and those completely dependent on kidney dialysis. It should be remembered that Medicare does not cover everything.

Medicare prescription drug coverage (or part D) and Medigap coverage are two separate types of assurance apart from Original Medicare. Both the part D drug plan and Medigap coverage plan are classified separately, and they must be paid for separately. This article will help you understand these Medicare “extras,” as well as whether or not you need them.

Medicare acts as an insurance program while Medicaid may be viewed as an assistance program. Medicare is credited with providing health coverage to people above 65 years, younger disabled citizens, and dialysis patients. Also, worth noting, Medicare is a federal program. These means its services are the same in the entire United States of America.