What is Medicare?

By RetireMEDiQ

What is Medicare?

Medicare was introduced in 1965 to provide Americans with more affordable health care after retirement.

In order to be eligible for Medicare, you must either be 65 years of age. Or, if you are under 65, you must qualify on the basis of disability. You must also be a US citizen or legal resident for at least five consecutive years.

There are four basic Medicare plan designs:

  • Original Medicare, which includes only Medicare Part A and Part B
  • Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans
  • Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Part C
  • Prescription Drug plans, also known as Part D

What is Original Medicare?

Original Medicare includes both Medicare Part A and Part B. Part A is hospital insurance and, in general, covers hospital care, skilled nursing facility, hospice care and some home health services.

Part A

Also known as “hospital insurance,” Part A includes deductibles, copays and in some cases a monthly premium. Although most people who paid Medicare taxes while working will receive this benefit “premium-free,” others could pay a monthly premium.

Part B

Part B helps cover physician services and outpatient hospital care. It has an income-based annual deductible and monthly premium.

Although Original Medicare covers both inpatient and outpatient care, you can potentially save money by getting additional coverage.

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