A Quick Look at Medicare
What is Medicare?
Medicare is health insurance for the following:
■■People 65 or older
■■People under 65 with certain disabilities
■■People of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant)
The Different Parts of Medicare
The different parts of Medicare help cover specific services:
Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)
■■Helps cover inpatient care in hospitals
■■Helps cover skilled nursing facility, hospice, and home health care
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)
■■Helps cover doctors’ and other health care providers’ services, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, and home health care
■■Helps cover some preventive services to help maintain your health and to keep certain illnesses from getting worse
Medicare Part C (also known as Medicare Advantage)
Offers health plan options run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies. Medicare Advantage Plans are a way to get the benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B. Most Medicare Advantage Plans cover Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D). Some Medicare Advantage Plans may include extra benefits for an extra cost.
Medicare Part D (Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage)
■■Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs
■■May help lower your prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs
■■Run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies
Your Medicare Coverage Choices at a Glance
There are two main ways to get your Medicare coverage: Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan. Use these steps to help you decide which way to get your coverage.
Step 1: Decide how you want to get your coverage.
ORIGINAL MEDICARE or MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN
Step 2: Decide if you need to add drug coverage.
Step 3: Decide if you need to add supplemental coverage.
If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you don’t need and can’t be sold a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy.
Get the help you need
Call 1‑800‑MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)
to get general or specific Medicare information and important telephone numbers. If you need free help in a language other than English or Spanish, say “Agent” to talk to a customer service representative. TTY users should call 1‑877‑486‑2048.
Visit www.medicare.gov to get detailed information about the Medicare health and prescription drug plans in your area, find participating health care providers and suppliers, get quality of care information, and more.
Look at your most recent “Medicare & You” handbook to learn what’s new, find out your Medicare costs, and get information about what Medicare covers.
Contact your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) to get free personalized counseling on Medicare coverage, claims, appeals, and help for people with limited income and resources. Call 1‑800‑MEDICARE or visit www.medicare.gov to get the telephone number for your local SHIP.
Visit the Administration on Aging at www.aoa.gov to find local resources, check for benefits, and plan for long-term care.