What is Medicare?
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that provides medical and health services to a specific group of people. It is a social insurance program that nowadays covers around 44 million people enrolled all over the nation.

Medicare program consists of two main parts:
• Medical and hospital insurance (Original Medicare Part A and Part B)
• Advanced insurance programs that provide flexibility and prescription drugs (Medicare Advantage Part C and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans)

Original Medicare Part A is also known as hospital insurance. In general, no additional payment is required as payroll taxes cover all the costs for the types of services that are covered with this plan. Original Medicare Part A covers hospital stays, care in skilled nursing facilities but also home health care like occupational, physical and even speech therapy if necessary. For disabled patients this plan also provides and covers all the costs for walkers and wheelchairs.

Original Medicare Part B is also known as medical insurance. With this plan physician visits, outpatient hospital visits and many other services are covered. Some of the services covered by Original Medicare Part B include:

• Certain types of vaccination
• Physician services
• Nursing services
• X-rays
• Laboratory and diagnostic tests
• Medical equipment like: walkers, wheelchairs, scooters, etc.
• Prosthetic devices
• Eyeglasses
• Blood transfusions
• Ambulance transportation
• Renal dialysis
• Certain hormonal treatments
• Chemotherapy, etc.
Medicare Part C is an advanced insurance plan and often times referred to as Medicare Advantage. These plans are provided by private insurance companies and approved by Medicare. However, the detailed coverage of this program varies from the type of the program that the patient is enrolled but also from the eligibility of the patient.

Medicare Part D is also known as the plan that covers prescription drugs and referred to as a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan. This plan has started to function and cover different types of drugs since 2006. Private insurance companies administrate this plan of Medicare. A payment of a premium and deductible are necessary for participation in Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans.

Who is eligible for Medicare?
People who are eligible for Medicare must be either older than 65, under 65 and disabled or have a permanent kidney failure that requires dialysis or even transplant, no matter of the age. Except the above mentioned requirements, people who are eligible for Medicare also have to be U.S. citizens or have been permanent legal residents for the last 5 years in continuity, eligible for Social Security benefits, and/or also have contributed in the last ten years with the payments into the system.

For more information on Medicare and to see if you qualify, please contact one of our licensed health insurance agents today!