Medicare is a federally funded program which provides health and hospital insurance benefits. Generally people can get Medicare if they:

  • are 65 years or older
  • receive Social Security Disability
  • suffer from end stage renal disease
  • are diagnosed with ALS. ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig ’s disease.
  • receive Railroad Retirement benefits

Medicare is not based on an individual’s income or assets.

The four types (parts) of Medicare:

Part A provides hospital insurance benefits. This includes inpatient hospital care, inpatient nursing home services, home health services, and hospice care.

Part B provides medical insurance benefits. This includes services from doctors and other medical practitioners, outpatient hospital services, and medical equipment. It also includes physical, occupation, and speech therapy services.

Part C is what is known as the Medicare Advantage program. People who get Medicare can choose to enroll in a private health plan. You do not have to do this. Some people enroll if what they need isn’t covered by their other insurance. 

Part D provides Prescription Drug Coverage. People can get this through a stand-alone prescription drug plan or through the Medicare Advantage Plan.

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Last Reviewed: September 11, 2023