What is Medicare?

Medicare is the U.S. government's largest health insurance program serving more than 57 million people. It is run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

  • For people who are turning 65 or older
  • For people under 65 with disabilities and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease)
Medicare has four parts.

Medicare Part A is FREE (for most people) at age 65. It is at no cost to you if you have worked at least 40 quarters (10 years) in the United States as an eligible American citizen or permanent resident. 

Medicare is not automatic. You need to enroll in it. But if you are already receiving benefits from Social Security, then Medicare Part A and B is automated, you don't need to sign up for it.


1) At age 65, you may be eligible for Medicare Parts A and B, even if you still work

2) You may be eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A through your spouse, although you still must qualify by age or disability.

3) You may also be eligible for Medicare Parts A and B if you're under 65 and have a disability.

Check this website if you are eligible to enroll.


Part A: Hospital Insurance and Part B: Doctor Insurance are offered by the federal government and is known as Original Medicare. It generally has deductible and coinsurance.

Part C: Medicare Advantage and Part D: Drug Coverage are offered by private companies. 

Medicare Advantage includes extra benefits including prescription or drug coverage. Part D is also available as a stand-alone option. If you decide not to join a Medicare prescription drug plan when you're first eligible and you don't have other creditable coverage, you'll likely pay a late enrollment penalty if you join later.

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