Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people ages 65 and older. It offers coverage for hospitalization (Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A)), medical services (Medicare Medical Insurance (Part B)), as well as private insurance programs (Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)) and prescription drugs (Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D)), which are optional.
The program also covers people under age 65 who are receiving disability benefits under the Social Security program. These people become eligible for Medicare 24 months after qualifying for disability benefits, although there are two exceptions. The first is people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), who can begin Medicare coverage three months after the first dialysis treatment, even if they do not get disability benefits. The other is people with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), who can begin Medicare coverage when they start receiving disability payments.
What Is "Traditional Medicare"?
What Is the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid?
When Did Medicare Coverage Actually Begin in the United States?
Why Was the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act (MCCA) of 1988 Repealed in 1989?
What Is the Common Pool Feature of Medicare?