What is Medicare?

Medicare is the US Federal Government Health Insurance Program for:

  • People 65 years of age and older.
  • Some people with disabilities under age 65.
  • People with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiting dialysis or a transplant).

Medicare has four parts:

  • Part A (Hospital Coverage)
    • Most people do not have to pay for Part A.
  • Part B (Medical Coverage)
    • Most people pay monthly for Part B. *
  • Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans)
    • Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies as an alternative to Original Medicare; plans are government subsidized and regulated. Include Parts A & B and many include Part D Rx coverage.
  • Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage)
    • Part D Plans are offered by private companies to provide coverage for prescription drug costs; plans are government subsidized and regulated. *

*For Part B and Part D, people will pay more than the standard amount if their modified adjusted gross income as reported on their IRS tax return from 2 years ago is above a certain amount.

You can choose different ways to receive your Medicare coverage:

  • Original Medicare and add a Medicare Supplement (to help pay for the gaps in Medicare coverage). You can join a standalone Medicare Prescription Drug plan also known as part D (PDP) if you want drug coverage.
  • A Medicare Advantage Plan, also known as Part C, this plan may include Medicare prescription drug coverage.
  • Original Medicare only and you want drug coverage; you can join a standalone Medicare prescription drug plan (also known as Part D).