SS_Medicare_flipbook_2017 - page 16

Medicare
Health Insurance for Older Americans
Medicare is the U.S. government’s health insurance program for citizens
age 65 and older, as well as some younger individuals with specific disabilities
and illnesses, and families of deceased workers.
Generally, to be eligible for Medicare, you need to be age 65 and you (and/or your spouse)
must have paid Medicare and Social Security payroll taxes for at least 10 years. The cost for
Medicare will depend on your income, the options you choose, and the medical care you need.
There are two ways to receive Medicare coverage: Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage.
Original Medicare is divided into two parts: Parts A and B. Participants also have the option
of purchasing Part D prescription drug coverage as well as Medicare Supplement Insurance
(Medigap), which helps fill in coverage gaps.
Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans combine Parts A and B, offer other benefits, and often
include prescription drug coverage.
• Parts A and B are administered by the federal government.
• Parts C and D and Medigap are offered by private, Medicare-approved insurance companies.
Because Medicare covers a limited amount of skilled nursing facility care (after a three-day
hospital stay), there is a common misconception that Medicare will pay for long-term care.
However, all costs for long-term care — assisted living, nursing home care, personal assistance
at home — must be paid for out of pocket.
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