Understanding Medicare

What is Medicare?


Medicare is a nationwide federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older. It also covers younger individuals with disabilities and those meeting certain criteria. Most people become eligible for Medicare coverage when you turn 65 years old.

So, if you are approaching age 65, congratulations! Life has never been better for older Americans! And to make sure you enjoy life to the fullest, having adequate health insurance coverage is essential. While understanding it all can be tricky, SeniorQuote can help you make the right choices.

If you’re not yet enrolled in Medicare, we can help you understand what Medicare does or doesn’t cover, what additional insurance options you have, how to cover prescription drugs, and more. We’ll help you make smart decisions about your healthcare coverage.

If you are already enrolled in Medicare, SeniorQuote can help you make the most of it with information about how to use the Annual Enrollment Period and other special election periods to your advantage, how Medicare Supplement insurance can cover costs that Medicare doesn’t and how to save money by avoiding late penalties.

Let’s start with the basics. There are four parts to Medicare:



Part A is designed to help pay for in-patient hospital care, some home-health services, skilled nursing care, and hospice care. You are eligible to receive Medicare Part A on the first day of the month that you turn 65. Happy Birthday!

In most cases, Part A is premium-free. You will not have to pay a premium for Medicare Part A if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes for over 10 years.

But Part A doesn’t cover everything.

That’s why having a Medicare Supplement Plan can be so important! It will protect you and your family from the high costs of healthcare.

Remember to sign up for Part A as soon as you become eligible to avoid potential late penalties.



Part B is designed to help you pay for out-patient hospital care, physician services, and other medical services not covered by Part A.

Together, Part A and Part B are referred to as Original Medicare. Part B coverage is optional and can be purchased from the federal government, if you are 65 or over. Many who choose Part B coverage pay a monthly premium that’s usually deducted from their Social Security benefit checks.



Often referred to as a Medicare Advantage Plan, Part C is provided by private healthcare companies approved by Medicare. These Part C plans cover all services under Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) and sometimes other benefits such as vision, hearing, dental, and health and wellness programs when you use their network of providers.

Part C plans include HMOs, PPOs, and Private Fee for Service Plans, among others. Individuals under a Part C plan usually have a schedule of co-payment and co-insurance costs (called cost-sharing) for covered services with physicians and hospitals within the plan’s network.



Medicare Part D is designed to help pay for prescription drugs and is also available through private healthcare providers. Part D is frequently included in Part C Medicare Advantage plan coverage, so if you want drug coverage and it’s offered by your Medicare Advantage Plan, in most cases you must get it through that plan.

However, if your plan doesn’t offer drug coverage, you may be able to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan


Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulates other miscellaneous programs including:

  • Medicare cost plans (which are only offered in a limited number of states)
  • Medicare supplemental insurance (Medigap Plans)


Medicare Simplified.

A, B, C, D …What is Medicare? See the links below for more information:

Open Enrollement | Late Penalties | “Medi-Medi” Dual Eligibility | Medigap or Medicare Advantage