The Basics

Medicare Basics

Medicare is a federally-sponsored health insurance program for people age 65 and older; people younger than 65 with a disability; people diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease; and those with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Medicare provides coverage for hospital care (Part A), medical services (Part B) and prescription drugs (Part D).

Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, offers beneficiaries the option of receiving their Medicare benefits through private health plans.

In this section:

  1. Medicare: An Overview
  2. Medicare EligibilityEligibility requirements for Medicare, and how they may change if you move or travel outside the United States.
  3. Enrolling in Medicare
  4. Medicare Assignment for Original Fee-for-Service Medicare
    Medicare assignment and provider charge limits for beneficiaries.
  5. Resources Helpful websites that offer basic Medicare information.

Related Links

News Articles
New-to-Medicare Frequently Asked Questions: Helpful questions, answers and resources for assistance on items to know and actions to take when becoming eligible for Medicare.

“Welcome to Medicare” Information Sheets
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) outlines 3 simple steps for new beneficiaries to take to make the most of their Medicare benefits. Download the PDF in EnglishChineseHmongKoreanLaotian and Vietnamese.

Medicare Basics for American Indian and Alaskan Natives
Two-page tip sheet for elders on Medicare basics and how Medicare works with their Indian Health Provider.

Medicare Fraud and Abuse
Fraud scenarios, how to prevent fraud and where to report suspected cases of fraud.