Medicare

Medicare is a health insurance program for people age 65 or older. People younger than age 65 with certain disabilities or permanent kidney failure can also qualify for Medicare.

The program helps with the cost of health care, but it doesn’t cover all medical expenses or the cost of most long-term care. You have choices for how you get Medicare coverage.

If you choose to have original Medicare coverage, you may buy a Medicare supplement policy (called Medigap) from a private insurance company to cover some of the costs that Medicare does not.

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Coverage options:

There are different parts of Medicare that help cover specific services:

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)

Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care.

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)

Part B covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services.

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans)

A type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide you with all your Part A and Part B benefits. Medicare Advantage Plans include Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Organizations, Private Fee-for-Service Plans, Special Needs Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, most Medicare services are covered through the plan and aren’t paid for under Original Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage Plans offer prescription drug coverage.

Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage)

Part D adds prescription drug coverage to Original Medicare, some Medicare Cost Plans, some Medicare Private-Fee-for-Service Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. These plans are offered by insurance companies and other private companies approved by Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans may also offer prescription drug coverage that follows the same rules as Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.

Who is eligible?

  • People 65 or older
  • People under 65 with certain disabilities
  • People of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD).
  • U.S. Citizen or Resident Alien

What do I need to apply?

  • Apply 3 months before turning age 65 to avoid delays of a higher premium
  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Security card, Immigrants must provide a permanent resident card
  • Current health insurance information

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