Medicare is the US federal health insurance program for the following:

  • People 65 or older
  • Younger people with certain disabilities
  • Those with permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant

Various "parts" of Medicare help cover particular services:

Medicare Part A ( or “Hospital Insurance”) covers:

  • Inpatient hospital stays
  • Care in a skilled nursing facility
  • Hospice care
  • Some home health care

Medicare Part B (or “Medical Insurance”) covers:

  • Certain doctors' services
  • Outpatient care
  • Medical supplies
  • Preventive services

Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) adds prescription drug coverage to the following:

  • Original Medicare
  • Some Medicare Cost Plans
  • Some Medicare Private-Fee-for-Service Plans
  • Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans

Insurance companies and other private companies approved by Medicare offer these plans.