Visitors to this site will find explanations of the different parts of Medicare and a downloadable booklet, "Medicare & You 2022," which outlines plans and programs.
Some key facts: this federal health insurance program becomes available to legal U.S. residents at age 65; persons with a disability and certain medical conditions may qualify at a younger age.
Generally, persons already receiving Social Security benefits prior to age 65 are automatically enrolled; persons who are not getting benefits are encouraged to sign up three months prior to their 65th birthday. Persons who delay signing up face penalties for late enrollment.
The program helps with the cost of care, but it doesn't cover all medical expenses or the cost of most long-term care.
Part A >>
Hospital insurance which helps cover in-patient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care and home healthcare.
Part B >>
Medical insurance which helps cover services from doctors and other healthcare providers, outpatient care, home healthcare, durable medical equipment (like wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds and other equipment) and many preventive services (like screenings, shots or vaccines and yearly "wellness" visits).
Part C >>
Medicare Advantage – "All in one" alternatives to so-called original Medicare, these "bundled" plans include Part A, Part B and usually Part D.
Plans may have lower out-of-pocket costs than original Medicare. In most cases, participants need to use doctors who are in the plan's network.
Most plans offer extra benefits that original Medicare doesn't cover - like vision, hearing, dental and more.
Part D >>
Drug coverage which helps pay for the cost of prescription drugs (including many recommended shots or vaccines). Part D plans are run by private insurance companies that follow rules set by Medicare.
Financial assistance -While the federal government has programs to help people with difficulty paying Medicare premiums, there's also a federal and state operated program, Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California), which assists people who have limited resources and offers benefits, like nursing home care, not offered by Medicare.
- From staff reports