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Related to Medicare: Medicaid, Medicare and Medicaid


A United States government program providing certain kinds of medical care to persons over 65 years of age. Medicare is funded by the federal government and divided into several parts. Medicare Part A is free (or rather paid with taxes) and pays for visits to the hospital, as well as some other costs. Medicare Part B covers doctor visits if the elderly person pays an extra premium, and Medicare Part D pays for prescription drugs in exchange for a premium. Participation in Parts B and D is voluntary, but participation in Part A is automatic. See also: Medicaid, Social Security, Obamacare.


Medicare is a federal government insurance program designed to provide healthcare coverage for people 65 or older, certain disabled people, and people with chronic kidney disease.

Anyone who qualifies for Social Security is automatically eligible for Medicare at 65.

Part A, which covers hospital and certain other costs, is provided when you enroll. You can also sign up for Part B, which covers doctor visits and related costs, and Part D, which covers prescription medicines, at the same time.

You pay a separate premium for both Part B and Part D. The Part B premium is set annually and carries surcharges for people whose incomes are above the annual ceilings. Your Part D premium is determined by the private insurer plan you select. If you postpone applying for Parts B and D and don't have equivalent or better coverage -- called creditable coverage -- from another plan, you face a permanent surcharge when you do enroll.

You may also have a choice between Original Medicare, which is a fee-for-service plan run by the government, or a Medicare Advantage plan if one is available where you live. Medicare Advantage plans are private insurer plans.

References in periodicals archive ?
The new Medicare card is most valuable for persons with a low income--under 135% of the Federal poverty level, which currently means less than about $1048 monthly for one person (add $358 for each additional family member).
com website features easy to access information on all options available during open enrollment: Switch from Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and B) to a Medicare Advantage Plan, switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare, switch to a different Medicare Advantage Plan or add, change or drop a Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage plan.
Seniors expecting to get certain prescription drugs under the nation's new Medicare plan are likely to be told to use a generic version first, or even that they can't receive the dosage recommended by their doctors, according to the report by Democrat Rep.
Note: If you are not eligible for Medicare, then none of this article applies to you.
According to Feder and other analysts who addressed the public health professionals, these principles are lost in the Medicare Modernization Act passed by the previous Congress and in the proposals for changing Social Security.
The legislation's supporters maintain that the bill will save seniors billions of dollars over a two-year period by allowing private health plans to compete for seniors' business by providing better coverage at affordable prices--in effect controlling Medicare costs via marketplace competition, not government price-setting.
When Medicare was started in 1965, outpatient prescription drugs were not a common benefit in private insurance programs.
Earlier this year, the President laid out a set of principles for Congress to follow as it begins its debate over the Medicare drug issue--located on FEI's Web site at www.
The lack of drug benefits for Medicare beneficiaries, however, is forcing many seniors to forgo filling necessary prescriptions.
The reason we hear so much talk about austerity for Medicare is that politicians--and their friends in the insurance, pharmaceutical, and managed-care industries--are determined to undermine federally subsidized health care.
At stake in the upcoming Medicare debate is not just the fairness and sufficiency of Medicare funding, but whether health care for America's elderly will be turned over to the insurance industry which has made such a mess of health care for the non-elderly.