What is Medicare?

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for:

  • People age 65 or older
  • People under 65 with certain disabilities
  • People any age with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)

What are the Parts of Medicare?

Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps cover:


Inpatient hospital care
Skilled nursing facility care
Hospice care
Home health care
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Part B (Medical Insurance) helps cover:

Services from doctors and other health care providers
Outpatient care
Home health care
Durable medical equipment (like wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, and other equipment)
Many preventive services (like screenings, shots or vaccines, and yearly “Wellness” visits)
Diagnostic Testing Services (like X-rays, CAT Scans, MRI’s)
Bloodwork & Lab Services
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Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage) helps cover:


Cost of prescription drugs (including many recommended shots or vaccines)

(Part D plans are run by private insurance companies that follow rules set by Medicare)
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Frequently asked questions

Social Security offers a quick online application that can be completed in just a few minutes. You do not have to be receiving income benefits to get Medicare. Just visit the Social Security website and follow the links about applying for medicare.

For most people your inital enrollment period (A 7-Month window in which you should enroll in Part A and Part B to avoid late enrollment fees) is the best time to sign for Medicare. 

At age 65 you are eligible for Medicare, regardless of whether or not you are already taking Social Security Income benefits. Some people may qualify earlier than 65 due to an illness or disease. 

No, but there are significant penalties for late enrollment unless you have other creditable health care coverage, such as from an employer.

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