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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 ?
Some progress has been made, as AIDS and other service and legal organizations repeatedly show the insurance companies running the Part D plans that requiring prior authorization for certain drugs including all antiretrovirals (except Fuzeon when patients start it) is against the federal Medicare policy the companies accepted when they offered their plans, and is probably illegal.
As a result, they do not connect the "defined benefit" guarantees of Social Security and Medicare with the demonstrably vast improvements in quality of life for the elderly.
Experts say that an alternative to Medicare is a private health insurance plan.
The cards, available to Medicare recipients, provide discounts of 10 percent to 25 percent for cash prescription drug purchases.
The state could, however, maintain Medicaid pharmaceutical benefits as wrap-around services for a person eligible for Medicaid and Medicare.
A drug benefit should be established in the context of comprehensive reform of the Medicare program.
Several other legislative proposals centered on adding prescription-drug coverage to Medicare have been introduced in the House and Senate.
The absurdity of the privatizers' position comes into focus when you consider what the HMOs actually did when they got a piece of the Medicare pie.
Unlike those who seek to privatize Social Security, those who seek to privatize Medicare rarely use the word "privatize," and they do not propose privatization overnight.
Medicare drug plans must cover all antireiroviral medications but not necessarily all other medications needed by' people with HIV/AIDS.