Medicare the Basics

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Medicare is a health insurance program that is administered by the federal government. It is for people who are ages 65 or older, younger people with certain disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Medicare is broken down into four parts, A, B, C and D. These parts cover specific services.

Original Medicare Part A and Part B

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Part A and Part B of Medicare was established in 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson along with the Federal Medicaid Program. These parts have now come to be known as Original or Traditional Medicare.

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)

Part A of Medicare covers any medically necessary inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing care, hospice care, and some types of home health care. If you have worked and paid Social Security taxes for 40 quarters (10 years) your PartA is free. If you have worked and paid taxes for less, you will have to pay a premium.  More Information …

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)

Part B of Medicare covers any medically necessary doctors services, outpatient care, medical supplies, x-rays, laboratory tests, mental health care, preventive services, and some types of home health care. You will have to pay a premium for Part B coverage. More Information …

Medicare Part C and Part D

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The biggest change to the Medicare Program since its inception came in 2003 with the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act (MMA). The act allowed private insurance companies, approved by Medicare to administer benefits to its recipients. The act also created an optional Prescription Drug Program. These additions came to be known as Medicare Part C and Medicare Part D.

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage)

Part C is a Medicare health plan that is administered by private insurance companies. Contracting with Medicare, these companies provide the equivalent of your Part A, and Part B benefits through approved Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. Most MA plans include prescription drug coverage. These type of plans are called MAPD plans. More Information …

Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage)

Part D of Medicare adds prescription drug coverage to Original Medicare and some types of Medicare Advantage Plans. More Information …