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Tell me about Medicare

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program that covers millions of Americans. Medicare is comprised of four main components: Parts A, B, C, and D. Together, Parts A and B are known as Original Medicare offered by the government.

Medicare Part A

Hospital insurance

Medicare Part A helps pay for inpatient hospital care. It also covers skilled nursing care, some home-health services, and hospice care. Read more...

Medicare Part B

Medical insurance

Medicare Part B helps pay for physician services, outpatient hospital care, and other medical services not covered by Part A. Together, Parts A and B are known as Original Medicare.

Medicare Part C

Medicare Advantage

Also known as Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part C covers all services under Parts A and B and usually offers additional benefits. You can get Part C plans through private organizations like Kaiser Permanente. Read more...

Medicare Part D

Prescription drugs

Medicare Part D helps pay for outpatient prescription drugs and is available through private health care organizations such as Kaiser Permanente. Part C plans often include Medicare Part D coverage. Read more...

Medicare eligibility

In general, you’re eligible for Medicare if you’re 65 or older, or younger than 65 and meet criteria for certain disabilities. However, requirements can vary among different kinds of plans.

Medicare supplemental insurance

Sold by insurance companies, Medicare supplemental plans—also known as Medigap plans—are designed to fill in the coverage gaps found in Original Medicare (Parts A and B). These plans allow you to choose any Medicare-certified doctor or hospital regardless of network.

You also can visit the Medicare website† or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) (toll free) or
1-877-486-2048 (toll-free TTY for the hearing/speech impaired), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Or, visit your local Social Security office†, or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (toll free) or
1-800-325-0778 (toll-free TTY for the hearing/speech impaired), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Helpful Resources

Watch our videos

Download our Guide to Medicare

Read 10 things to know

Review our Plan Ahead checklist