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Learn About Medicare

What Is Medicare?
Medicare is the government-run insurance program for those 65 and older or certain people with disabilities.
What's covered on Medicare is based on federal and state laws, national decisions made by Medicare about whether something is covered, and local decisions made by companies who process Medicare claims and decide whether something is medically necessary and should be covered in their area.

Medicare has four different parts, which you can mixed and matched through different plans to give you the coverage that’s right for you.

What Is Original Medicare?
Original Medicare is coverage managed by the federal government, and usually you have to pay a cost for every health care service you get.

It's made up of two parts, Part A and Part B. These are the parts that most people on Medicare have.

What Is Medicare Part A?
Medicare Part A is also called hospital insurance, and it covers:

  • Inpatient hospital stays
  • Skilled nursing facility stays
  • Hospice care
  • Nursing home care
  • Home health care
What Is Medicare Part B?
Medicare Part B is also called medical insurance, and it covers certain care from doctors, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive care, which includes:
  • Services like flu shots
  • Care through clinical trials
  • Ambulances
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Mental health care
  • Limited prescription drugs

What Is Medicare Advantage?
Medicare Advantage Plans, or Part C plans, replace Original Medicare. Many plans also add prescription drug coverage to combine Part A, Part B and Part D into one easy package.

What Is Medicare Part D?
Medicare Part D adds prescription drug coverage. You can buy Part D from insurance companies to go with your Original Medicare coverage or your Medicare Supplement coverage, or you can choose a Medicare Advantage plan that includes Part D prescription drug coverage.

What vaccines are covered by Medicare Part D?
Click here to find more information on Medicare Part D vaccines.

What Is Medicare Supplement?
Medicare Supplement, also called Medigap, is coverage you buy to help pay for some of the costs Original Medicare doesn't. Supplement benefits are standardized, so they're the same from company to company, and you must have Part A and Part B.

These plans don't cover everything, so they won't cover long-term care, vision, dental, hearing aids, or glasses.