Medicare is a national health insurance program for people ages 65+, or younger individuals with certain disabilities.
Original Medicare, which is from the government, includes Part A that covers hospital costs and Part B that covers doctor visits. An alternative to Original Medicare is a Medicare Advantage plan from a private insurance company.
Some Medicare Advantage Plans include prescription drug coverage. Or you can enroll in a Medicare Part D plan as an alternative way to get prescription drug coverage. The options you choose affect the cost and level of your coverage.
Like most other insurance programs, Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans do not pay for all health care costs. You must pay for deductibles, premiums, coinsurance or copayments. Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans do not pay for long-term care, extended stays in nursing homes or coverage when outside of the country.