EDU Articles

Learn about investing, trading, retirement, banking, personal finance and more.

Ad is loading...
Help CenterFind Your WayBuy/Sell Daily ProductsIntraday ProductsFAQ
Expert's OpinionsWeekly ReportsBest StocksInvestingTradingCryptoArtificial Intelligence
IntroductionMarket AbbreviationsStock Market StatisticsThinking about Your Financial FutureSearch for AdvisorsFinancial CalculatorsFinancial MediaFederal Agencies and Programs
Investment PortfoliosModern Portfolio TheoriesInvestment StrategyPractical Portfolio Management InfoDiversificationRatingsActivities AbroadTrading Markets
Investment Terminology and InstrumentsBasicsInvestment TerminologyTrading 1 on 1BondsMutual FundsExchange Traded Funds (ETF)StocksAnnuities
Technical Analysis and TradingAnalysis BasicsTechnical IndicatorsTrading ModelsPatternsTrading OptionsTrading ForexTrading CommoditiesSpeculative Investments
Cryptocurrencies and BlockchainBlockchainBitcoinEthereumLitecoinRippleTaxes and Regulation
RetirementSocial Security BenefitsLong-Term Care InsuranceGeneral Retirement InfoHealth InsuranceMedicare and MedicaidLife InsuranceWills and Trusts
Retirement Accounts401(k) and 403(b) PlansIndividual Retirement Accounts (IRA)SEP and SIMPLE IRAsKeogh PlansMoney Purchase/Profit Sharing PlansSelf-Employed 401(k)s and 457sPension Plan RulesCash-Balance PlansThrift Savings Plans and 529 Plans and ESA
Personal FinancePersonal BankingPersonal DebtHome RelatedTax FormsSmall BusinessIncomeInvestmentsIRS Rules and PublicationsPersonal LifeMortgage
Corporate BasicsBasicsCorporate StructureCorporate FundamentalsCorporate DebtRisksEconomicsCorporate AccountingDividendsEarnings

What are Medicare Benefits?

Medicare benefits refer to the medical insurance coverage provided by the Medicare program. Medicare is a government program in the United States that primarily serves individuals who are 65 years of age or older. However, it also provides coverage for individuals with severe disabilities, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), and ESRD (end-stage kidney disease) at any age.

Parts of Medicare

Medicare is divided into different parts, each offering specific coverage:

  1. Part A (Hospital Insurance): Part A is often referred to as "hospital insurance." It helps cover inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and limited home health care services. Part A premiums are typically paid through the insured person's working career, and for most individuals, there are no monthly premiums.

  2. Part B (Medical Insurance): Part B provides coverage for medical services, including doctor's visits, preventive services, outpatient care, laboratory tests, and durable medical equipment. Part B requires monthly premiums, and the cost is based on the individual's income. Most people are automatically enrolled in Part B unless they choose to opt-out.

  3. Part C (Medicare Advantage): Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is an alternative to Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). These plans are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans often include additional benefits such as prescription drug coverage (Part D) and may have different cost structures and coverage options.

  4. Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage): Part D provides prescription drug coverage. These plans are also offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. Part D helps cover the cost of prescription medications and is available as a standalone plan or as part of a Medicare Advantage plan.

Additional Coverage Options

Many individuals opt to supplement their Medicare coverage with additional plans to help cover costs not included in Original Medicare. These include:

  1. Medigap: Medigap plans, also known as Medicare Supplement Insurance, are private insurance policies that help pay for expenses not covered by Original Medicare, such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.

  2. Employer Coverage: Some individuals may have employer-sponsored health coverage even after turning 65. In such cases, they may choose to delay enrolling in Medicare Part B without facing penalties.

Importance of Medicare Benefits

Medicare benefits are essential for older Americans and individuals with disabilities as they provide access to necessary medical care and help protect against high healthcare costs. Medicare's aim is to ensure that individuals have access to health insurance coverage in their old age, reducing the financial burden and risk of medical bankruptcy. By paying into Medicare throughout their working lives, individuals are able to access healthcare services and treatments they need as they age, promoting better overall well-being and quality of life. Medicare benefits are a vital component of the U.S. healthcare system, providing medical insurance coverage for older adults, individuals with disabilities, and those with specific medical conditions. Through various parts and additional coverage options, Medicare helps individuals access essential healthcare services and mitigate the financial burden associated with medical expenses. Understanding Medicare benefits is crucial for individuals approaching or already eligible for Medicare to ensure they receive the appropriate coverage and protection for their healthcare needs.


Medicare is a medical insurance benefit for Americans 65 years of age or older, but it also provides coverage for those with severe disabilities, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and ESRD (end-stage kidney disease) at any age. The premiums for what is known as Part A are paid throughout the insured’s working career, with Part B available as a supplement at low cost.

Once you’re over 65, this becomes your medical insurance unless you’re still on an employer’s plan. Medicare provides coverage for in-patient procedures and short stays in the hospital, as well as hospice care and a few other small benefits for home health care. That is just for Part A—the “free” portion of Medicare people pay into over their working lives as part of their FICA taxes.

People are also automatically enrolled in Part B unless they choose to Opt-out, but this coverage has monthly premiums that have historically increased slightly year-to-year, with premiums based on the household’s taxable income. The benefits include hospital stays, physician’s visits, blood-work, most of the cost of durable medical equipment, and home healthcare expenses for a short duration each year.

Most people also pick up “Medigap” plans from private insurance companies, which cover some of the expenses that are not covered by Medicare. People also frequently get Part D prescription plans.

There are also Medicare Advantage plans from private insurers, but these have higher deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. Medical expenses are among the largest expenses incurred by retirees as they get older, as medical care, procedures, and medications are needed more and more frequently the older people get.

A large reason Medicare was instituted was to force Americans to pay into insurance coverage for their care in old age, because otherwise the number of bankrupt and state-dependent elderly would be exponentially higher than it is today.

What is Medicare and Medicaid?
What does Medicaid cover?
Who pays for Medicare?

Ad is loading...