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What is Medicare?

Medicare is a health care program run by the federal government. It's called Original Medicare. There are different parts to Medicare:

  • Part A covers hospital care. Most people get Part A when they sign up for Medicare.
  • Part B helps cover doctor services and outpatient care. 
  • Part C combines Parts A and B, and is known as Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage plans cover everything that Original Medicare covers. Most offer more, like prescription drugs, vision, dental and hearing. 
  • Part D covers Medicare prescription drugs.

Medicare Advantage plans

Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies. The plans don’t replace Original Medicare. But they must cover everything that Original Medicare covers. Most plans offer more, like prescription drugs, vision, dental and hearing. 

How do you qualify for Medicare?

You qualify for Medicare if:

  • You’re age 65 or older and a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident 
  • You’re under 65 and living with certain disabilities
  • You have end-stage renal disease (your kidneys can no longer work well enough to keep you alive and you need dialysis or a kidney transplant)

Need more information about Medicare?

  • Contact Medicare.
     
    Visit medicare.gov    
     Call 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY 1-877-486-2048)
     24 hours a day, 7 days a week

     Get answers to questions about Medicare and Medicare plans.

 

  • Contact Social Security (SSA).
     Visit ssa.gov
     Call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778)

     
    Get answers to questions about how to sign up for Medicare,   
     when to sign up if you are still working, getting extra help with
     your prescription drug costs and more.

USMD SeniorCare

Learn about the support and care we offer to USMD patients who have Medicare Advantage plans. 

Learn more