What it is:
Medicare is the United States federal government health insurance program for Americans who are 65 years of age and older.
How it works (Example):
When a U.S. citizen turns 65 years old, he may be eligible for Medicare benefits if he meets certain criteria. These benefits are intended to cover the costs of healthcare associated with advanced age. Eligible participants can choose from a number of plan options depending on their needs. All Medicare options require that beneficiaries pay an affordable premium as well as co-payments for all covered healthcare services.
Medicare comprises three separate sections that each deal exclusively with different parts of the healthcare system. Part A covers inpatient care and on-going treatments including hospital stays, in-home care, and nursing homes. Part B covers outpatient care and medical equipment needs like office visits, lab tests, x-rays, medications, and wheelchairs. Part C provides eligible participants with a variety of additional services to choose from depending on their needs.
Why it Matters:
Medicare provides Americans with affordable healthcare coverage as they get older, often facing both higher healthcare costs and declining incomes.