The Medicare entitlement program began in 1965 after Congress passed legislation for this social insurance program. Medicare is earmarked for those aged 65 and over who have paid into Medicare and are American citizens living in the United States. Medicare was later expanded to include those with disabilities and certain diseases.
Medicare has 4 parts:
- Part A is hospital insurance.
- Part B includes doctor’s services and some preventive care.
- Part C is a for-profit option in a Medicare Advantage plan as HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations) or PPO (Preferred Provider Organization). Part C, when chosen, takes the place of traditional Medicare, Parts A and B.
- Part D, is also a for-profit prescription drugs coverage which has a donut hole which does not cover drugs until you pay a certain amount.
You can also get a separate, supplemental for-profit insurance, called Medigap, to cover the gaps in Medicare.
Consider carefully which parts of Medicare you want when turning 65. Go to medicare.gov.
Niles-Yokum, K. & Wagner, D.L. (2011). The aging networks: A guide to programs and services. New York: Springer Publishing Company.
The Official Governmental Site for Medicare: medicare.gov