In simple terms, Medicare is a government health care program for people ages 65 and over. However, it is also for people with certain disabilities such as MS, ALS, end-stage kidney failure and a few others.
President Franklin Roosevelt signed Social Security into law in 1935, and 60 years later, in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a Medicare bill into law. Over the years, the coverage has evolved significantly, covering more people than in initial stages.
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for:
- People who are 65 or older
- Certain younger people with disabilities
- People with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD)
The different parts of Medicare help cover specific services:
- Part A (Hospital insurance
- Part B (Medical insurance)
- Part C (Medicare Advantage)
- Part D (Prescription drug coverage)
- Supplemental (Medigap Insurance)
Learn more about the Parts of Medicare.