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Insurance > Medicare Basics

What Is Medicare?

Learn What Medicare Is

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease.

The A,B,C,Ds of Medicare

Medicare has 4 parts:

Part A
Hospital coverage
Medicare Part A: Hospital Coverage
Medicare Part A
The A of Medicare Deals With Hospital Coverage

Deals with hospital coverage, and covers certain services such as:

  • Overnight hospital stays
  • Care from a skilled nursing facility
  • Some home health care
  • Hospice care
Part B
Medical coverage
Medicare Part B: Medical Coverage
Medicare Part B
The B of Medicare Deals With Medical Care

Helps you pay for medical care, covering certain services such as:

  • Visits to the doctor
  • Outpatient care
  • Medical supplies
  • Preventive services
Part C
Advantage Plan
Medicare Part C: Medicare Advantage Plan
Medicare Part C
The C of Medicare Is Also Known as Medicare Advantage Plan

Also known as Medicare Advantage Plan, this is usually an HMO or PPO and includes Part A, Part B, and sometimes Part D coverage, but may have different rules, costs, and coverage restrictions.

Part D
Medicare prescription drug coverage
Medicare Part D: Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage
Medicare Part D
The D of Medicare Deals With Prescription Drugs

Helps you pay for certain prescription drugs. Part D plans are offered by Medicare-approved insurance companies.

Now that you know a bit about the different parts of Medicare, learn things to consider when choosing a plan.