Q. What is Medicare?
The Short Answer
Medicare is a health insurance program provided by the U.S. government for people ages 65 plus, as well as younger people with certain disabilities.
However, Medicare does not cover all health care costs, and you can enroll in a Medicare supplement insurance or Medicare Advantage plan to receive fuller coverage.
Medicare is split into four parts: A, B, C, and D.
Part A helps pay for hospital expenses. There is no premium for Part A, but there are costs for you. Medicare supplement insurance and Medicare Advantage plans can help with these costs.
Part B helps pay for physician expenses. There is a premium, a deductible, and other costs for Part B. Medicare supplement insurance and Medicare Advantage plans can help with these costs.
Medicare Parts A and B are sometimes referred to as Traditional Medicare or Fee for Service Medicare. If you would like more coverage than Medicare Part A and Part B provide, you might be interested in a Medicare supplement insurance policy from an insurance company.
Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage. You can sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan through an insurance company. Medicare Advantage plans generally have low or no premium but do have copays and network restrictions. You do not need both a Medicare Advantage and a Medicare supplement insurance plan. You only ever need one or the other.
Medicare Part D is the portion of Medicare that handles prescription drug coverage. You can sign up for a Part D plan through an insurance company. There will be a premium and some copays