Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people who are 65 years or older, people with certain disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant).
The program has four parts:
1. Part A: Covers hospital stays, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and home health care. Most people do not have to pay a premium for Part A because they or their spouse paid Medicare taxes while working.
2. Part B: Covers doctor visits, outpatient care, preventive services, and medical equipment. Most people pay a monthly premium for Part B.
3. Part C: Also known as Medicare Advantage, this is an alternative to Original Medicare (Parts A and B) that is offered by private insurance companies. Medicare Advantage plans must cover at least the same benefits as Original Medicare, but often include additional benefits such as prescription drug coverage, dental, vision, and hearing care, and wellness programs.
4. Part D: Covers prescription drugs. This is also offered by private insurance companies, and most people pay a monthly premium for Part D.
In summary, Medicare is a health insurance program that provides coverage for medical expenses for eligible individuals. It has several parts, and the specific benefits and costs depend on the individual's situation and which parts they enroll in.