What is Medicare?
Medicare is a federal government health care program enacted in 1965. Often referred to today as "Original Medicare," the program is primarily set up to provide medical expense coverage to persons over age 65. The Medicare program is administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which is a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Medicare program is divided into two parts: Part A, for hospital and skilled nursing facility expenses ... and Part B, for medical expenses such as doctor, outpatient facility and home health care charges. Each part has its own set of deductibles, co-payments and pre-approved charges, which normally change each year.
Does Medicare cover all medical costs?
Most, but not all. There are certain co-payments and deductibles you must pay. Medicare pre-assigns allowable charges for all kinds of illnesses, surgeries and procedures. When the cost of a medical procedure is more than Medicare's "approved" charge, you have to pay the difference. This is why there are private insurance options, like Medicare Supplement Insurance, to help pay for the expenses Medicare does not cover.
For more information on The Medicare Program and Medicare Supplement choose from the links below.
References: Judith A. Stein and Alfred J. Chiplin, Jr., Medicare Handbook, Aspen Publishers (2010).
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