It helps to know first what health insurance is. Health insurance is a coverage that will cover the cost of your medical and surgical expenses, if you are covered. There are several types of health insurance coverage. With some, the insured pays the out of pocket cost and will then be reimbursed by the insurer, or the insurer will make payments directly to the health care provider. Medicare is a supplemental insurance police and is sold by private companies to help cover the cost of medical expenses.

So What is Medicare?

Medicare is a health insurance program run by the federal government. It is for people who are 65 or older, or for people who are younger with a disability as well as people with End-Stage Renal Disease. There are different parts of Medicare that cover specific services.

  • Medicare Part A – Part A is hospital insurance and will cover or help cover the cost of inpatient hospital stays, hospice care, nursing facility, and some home health care.
  • Medicare Part B – Part B is insurance that will cover outpatient care, certain doctor’s services, preventative services and medical supplies.
  • Medicare Part C – Part C insurance is a type of health plan offered by private companies that contract with Medicare to provide all Part A and Part B benefits. Medicare Advantage Plans include HMO’s, PPO’s Special needs Plans and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. Most of your services are covered if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan and they are not paid for under Original Medicare.
  • Medicare Part D – Adds Prescription Drug Coverage to original Medicare as well as some Medicare Cost Plans, Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans and Private Fee for Service Plans. Private companies that are approved my Medicare offer Medicare prescription drug plans including some Medicare Advantage Plans.

Medicare is a national social insurance program. It is administered by the federal government and uses approximately 30 insurance companies within the United States.