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What Is Medicare?

Medicare is a United States federal government health insurance program for citizens aged 65 and older. It is also available for younger people with disability status as determined by the Social Security Administration.

Deeper Definition 

Medicare is a federal health insurance program created in 1965 by the United States government. It is currently run by a federal government agency known as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 

Medicare is a health insurance program that primarily provides coverage for people aged 65 and above, regardless of their income. Younger people who meet specific eligibility criteria and dialysis patients are also covered.

The program is divided into four parts and allows people to opt-in for whichever one they want. The four options available are:

  • Part A or Hospital Insurance: This option offers insurance coverage for hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, and some home health care.
  • Part B or Medical Insurance: This option offers insurance coverage for certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services.
  • Medicare Advantage: This is offered by a private company with approval from the federal government. It offers a bundle of various coverages in Medicare Part A, Part B, and Part D. As well as some extra benefits like vision, hearing, and dental services.
  • Part D or Prescription Drug Coverage: This option covers the cost of prescription drugs, including recommended shots or vaccines.

Medicare should not be mistaken for Medicaid. While both are federal government insurance programs, they have different objectives and eligibility requirements. Medicaid is an assistance program for low-income people of every age by the federal government in conjunction with the state government. Medicare is the same every in the United States, while Medicaid varies with different states.

Eligibility is available for people aged 65 and above who have lived legally in the United States for at least five years. For people under the age of 65, eligibility is available to those who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). However, people with Lou Gehrig’s disease (known also as ALS) and/or permanent kidney failure can enroll without meeting any criteria.

Medicare Example 

Janice, a 75-year-old American taxpayer, is suffering from kidney failure. She requires a lengthy stay in hospital in order to make a recovery. Janice will be covered under Medicare Part A. Her hospital bills will be paid for, along with any home health care she may need after leaving the hospital.

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