Health Services: Medicare


What is Medicare?

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for:

  • Most people age 65 and over
  • Certain people younger than 65 who qualify for Social Security disability benefits
  • People with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • People with end-stage renal disease

If I am eligible for Medicare, how do I enroll?

If you are receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, you may be  automatically enrolled. If you are not automatically enrolled, you can enroll by calling Social Security.

What does Medicare cover?

Medicare covers health care services and items that are medically necessary and  reasonable as follows:

  • Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, inpatient skilled nursing facility stays, limited home health care, and hospice care
  • Medicare Part B covers outpatient medical services such as doctor visits, diagnostic  lab tests, durable medical equipment and preventive care
  • Medicare Part D covers most prescription drugs
  • Medicare Part C refers to Medicare Advantage which is an alternative way to receive  your Medicare benefits. You receive them through a private insurance plan instead of Original Medicare

What does Medicare cost?

Medicare requires premiums, deductibles and other cost-sharing for certain services. All variables depend on the coverage you are enrolled in. For detailed plan comparisons and benefits explanations call our SHINE counselors for one on one assistance:  866-684-5885

Why do some people delay enrollment in Medicare Part B?

If you are covered by an employer group health plan due to active employment (i.e. not a  retiree plan), you may delay enrolling in Part B.

Why do some people delay enrollment in a Medicare Part D plan?

If you have creditable prescription drug coverage (meaning it is as good as or better than  the standard Medicare Part D drug benefit), you may decide not to enroll in a Medicare Part  D plan or to enroll later.

Medicare doesn’t cover all my health care costs. What are some ways to  supplement it?

Some beneficiaries choose to supplement Medicare with some other form of coverage, such as a Medigap  plan, retiree plan, and secondary insurance. Others receive their Medicare through private health plans called Medicare  Advantage (MA) plans.

How can a parent/caregiver gain access to this service?

For information about Medicare coverage, call 1-800-633-4227 or Click Here to go to the Medicare website.

Recommended websites, YouTube videos, books on this topic? Social Security Medicare publication Click Here


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