Medicare Basics

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General Information about Medicare Coverage

Original Medicare is a health insurance program for people 65 years of age and older, as well as some people with disabilities (under 65 years old), and people with End-Stage Renal Disease.

What is Medicare?

Learn what Medicare is, the different Medicare parts and general Medicare coverage information.

Medicare has four parts:

  • Medicare Part A is hospital insurance. Most people do not have to pay for Part A. If you or your spouse worked for at least 10 years in federal, postal or other Medicare-covered employment, you should qualify for Part A without having to pay a premium. If not, you may be able to buy it.

  • Medicare Part B is medical insurance, covering such expenses as doctor office visits and outpatient hospital care. Most people pay monthly for Part B. Generally, Part B premiums are withheld from your monthly Social Security check.

  • Medicare Part C, or otherwise called Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans, are health plan options (like an HMO or PPO) approved by Medicare and offered by private companies. Medicare pays a fixed amount for your care every month to the companies offering Medicare Advantage Plans. Medicare Advantage Plans provide your Medicare health coverage and usually Medicare drug coverage. They are not supplemental insurance. MHBP is not a MA-type plan, which means that we coordinate our benefits with your Medicare benefits, not replace them.

  • Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage. Like Part B, Medicare Part D is optional and you pay a monthly premium if you decide to enroll.   Your MHBP prescription drug coverage through FEHBP is comparable or better than the standard Medicare prescription drug coverage. As long as you keep your FEHBP coverage, you will not have to pay a penalty if you decide to enroll for Medicare prescription drug coverage later on.

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