What Is Medicare?
Senior man fishing with his grandson

Written By: BenaVest

March 15, 2021

What Is Medicare?


The short answer


Medicare is a government backed health insurance program that covers people the age of 65 and up. Here are some key factors of Medicare:


  • There are different Medicare plans that you can enroll in. depending on your situation one may be better than the other
  • Medicare part A and B can potentially be free and cover the costs of hospital stays and doctor visits
  • Medicare part C does the same as part A and B and many times offer coverage for more things
  • Medicare part D covers the cost of prescription drugs that requires a monthly premium
  • Most people 65 or older qualify for Medicare if they have worked and paid medicare taxes long enough
  • Some under 65 can qualify as well


Medicare is a government backed health insurance program that covers people the age of 65 and up. Medicare may also cover some people under the age of 65 if they meet certain requirements.


The different medicare plans


Medicare has multiple coverage plans that are named part A, B, C, D. Medicare part A and B are often called original Medicare. Part C may be called medicare advantage. Part D helps cover the cost of prescriptions.


Medicare Part A

Medicare part A covers the cost of hospital stays including the following:


  • Hospice care
  • Healthcare at home
  • Inpatient care in a hospital or nursing facility


Medicare Part B

Medicare part B covers doctor visits. It also covers certain medically necessary and preventive services. 


  • Medically necessary services including supplies, tests and other services to diagnose and treat medical conditions
  • Preventive services are services that can be used to detect illnesses and conditions early on before they worsen.


Medicare Part C

Medicare part C also known as Medicare advantage is a form of private insurance. These plans are sold through private insurance firms and includes the following:


  • Includes everything from Medicare part A and Medicare part B
  • Also may include other benefits that vary from plan to plan
  • Many Medicare advantage plans cover prescription drug costs
  • Depending on the plan it may also include coverage for vision, dental and hearing


Medicare part D

Medicare part D is another form of private insurance. Part D:


  • Covers the cost of prescription drugs
  • Requires the payment of a monthly premium


Who Is Eligible?


Eligibility requirements for Medicare parts A and B include:


  • You or your spouse had medicare-covered government employment
  • You have worked long enough to qualify for social security and paid Medicare taxes
  • You are receiving or are eligible to receive retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement board.
  • People under the age of 65 and require a dialysis or kidney transplant qualify for premium free Medicare part A
  • Anyone under the age of 65 with ALS qualify after they receive disability benefits


How to Apply


Anyone that is already receiving social security benefits before the age of 65 will already be enrolled. Other than that there are multiple ways to enroll in Medicare. 


  • You can enroll at a local social security office with an appointment
  • You can enroll online at the social security website
  • Or you can call 1-800-772-1213 monday through friday from 7 to 7


If you are already receiving Social Security benefits when you turn 65, you’ll automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A and B, if you are eligible.


What Is Not Covered?


Depending on the type of Medicare you have, it may or may not cover certain things. With Medicare part A and B things that are not covered are:


  • Custodial care
  • Most dental care
  • Foot care
  • Acupuncture
  • Hearing aids and exams
  • Any cosmetic surgeries
  • Dentures


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