Medicare is a federal government program that provides health care coverage for all eligible individuals age 65 or older or under age 65 with a disability, regardless of income or assets.
Medicare beneficiaries have two options in receiving their Medicare benefits: either through Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan. Out-of-pocket costs vary depending on your plan, coverage and the services you use.
Original Medicare contains what is called Part A (hospital) and Part B (medical) coverage. You can choose to purchase additional insurance such as Medicare supplement insurance (also known as MedSup or Medigap) and Part D prescription drug coverage. Medicare supplement insurance and prescription drug coverage each require a monthly premium in addition to your Part B premium.
Medicare Advantage plans are options approved by Medicare but run by private companies. They are part of the Medicare Program. With Medicare Advantage plans you generally get all your Medicare-covered health care through that plan. Coverage can include prescription drug coverage. You may get extra benefits, such as coverage for vision, hearing, dental, and/or health and wellness programs. You may have to use the plan's doctors and hospitals to get services. You don't need to buy a Medigap policy. These plans may require a monthly premium in addition to your Part B premium.
Summary of Key Changes to Medicare
Explaining Health Reform: Key Changes in the Medicare Advantage Program
Explaining Health Reform: Medicare and the New Independent Payment Advisory Board
Health Reform: Key Medicare Changes Effective in 2010
Health Reform: Key Medicare Changes Effective in 2011
Health Reform: Key Medicare Changes Effecrive in 2012
Health Care Reform, Dual Eligibles & Coverage Expansion
Medicare Part D Coverage Gap
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