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What is Medicare?

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Medicare is a government-run health insurance program for people over the age of 65 and those under the age of 65 with specified impairments or end-stage renal disease. It was created in 1965. Medicare is broken down into four parts: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D.

Key Takeaways

  • Medicare is a great way to get healthcare insurance.
  • Medicare has four parts: Part A Hospital, Part B Doctor, Part C Medicare Advantage, and Part D Prescription Drugs.

What are the benefits of Medicare?

Medicare provides coverage for hospitalization, physician services, and prescription drugs. There are four parts to Medicare: Part A (hospital insurance), Part B (medical insurance), Part C (Medicare Advantage plans), and Part D (prescription drug coverage).

You may be able to get help paying for your Medicare costs from Medicaid or other programs.

What is Medicare Part A?

Medicare Part A is hospital insurance. It covers inpatient care, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and home health care.

What is Medicare Part B?

Medicare Part B is medical insurance. It covers outpatient care, preventive services, durable medical equipment, and some home health care.

What is Medicare Part C?

Medicare Part C is private health insurance. It covers all of the benefits of Parts A and B, plus some additional benefits such as dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage.

What is Medicare Part D?

Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage. It helps cover the cost of prescription drugs.

Who is eligible for Medicare

You may be eligible for Medicare if you are 65 or older, younger than 65, and have a disability or end-stage renal disease. In addition, you may qualify if you are under the age of 65and have been granted disability benefits for 24 months.

How to enroll in Medicare

If you are eligible for Medicare, you can sign up online at, by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), or by visiting your local Social Security office.

You must provide your Social Security number, date of birth, and address. You will also need your bank account information ready to sign up for the direct deposit.

Once enrolled, you will receive your Medicare card in the mail. You must use your Medicare card whenever you get health care services or supplies covered by Medicare.

How to use your Medicare card

Your Medicare card is proof that you have Medicare health insurance. It shows your name, Medicare number, and the type of Medicare coverage you have.

You will need to show your Medicare card to your doctor or other health care provider when you get services or supplies covered by Medicare.

You should keep your Medicare card in a safe place and carry it with you when you travel.

If you lose your card, you can get a replacement by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or visiting your local Social Security office.

What to do if you have a problem with your Medicare coverage

If you have a problem with your Medicare coverage, you can file a complaint with the Medicare or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

You can also contact your state or local consumer protection office or the Better Business Bureau to file a complaint.

For more information about Medicare, visit or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.

How to find out more about Medicare

The best way to get more information about Medicare is to contact the program directly. You can do this by visiting or calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.

You can also find information about Medicare in your local phone book under "United States Government" or "Health and Human Services."


Is Medicare the same as health insurance?

No, Medicare is not the same as health insurance. Medicare is a national health insurance program in the United States administered by the federal government. It provides health coverage for people 65 and older and certain younger people with disabilities. On the other hand, health insurance is a private insurance program that helps pay for medical care.

Is Medicare the same as Social Security?

No, Medicare and Social Security are two separate programs. Medicare is a health insurance program for people 65 and older and some younger people with disabilities.

Social Security is a retirement and disability program. People who pay into Social Security can get benefits when they retire.

People who pay into Medicare can get health insurance coverage when they turn 65. However, some people may be confused because both programs are paid for through payroll taxes. And both programs are essential to many retirees’ financial security.