Medicare: What You Need to Know
Medicare is for people who are
- age 65 or older,
- under age 65 with certain disabilities, and
- of all ages with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant).
Medicare consists of:
Part A Hospital Insurance - Most people don't pay a premium for Part A because they or a spouse already paid for it through their payroll taxes while working. Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps cover inpatient hospital care, including critical access hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities (not custodial or long-term care). It also helps cover hospice care and some home care.
Part B Medical Insurance - Most people pay a monthly premium for Part B, which helps cover doctors' services and outpatient care. It also covers other medical services that Part A doesn't cover, such as some physical and occupational therapists. Part B helps pay for these covered services and supplies when they are medically necessary.
Part D Medicare Drug Program – Part D is a program that helps pay for prescription drugs for people with Medicare who join a plan that includes Medicare prescription drug coverage. You can get a drug plan through a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes drug coverage. These plans are offered by insurance companies and other private companies approved by Medicare.