Close Welcome! We've made a few changes to our site. We've refreshed the design and added great content to help you make smarter health care choices.

Medicare Overview


Original Medicare

Original Medicare has two parts — Part A and Part B. Medicare Part A is offered at no cost to most people eligible for Medicare. Medicare Part B is available for a monthly premium to most people eligible for Medicare. Medicare premiums, deductibles and cost-sharing amounts are set by the federal government each fall for the next year.


Part A: Hospital Coverage

Medicare Part A help pays for inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, home health care and hospice care. You pay your deductible and coinsurance.


Part B: Medical Coverage

Medicare Part B covers doctors’ services and tests, outpatient care, durable medical equipment and some medical services and supplies not covered by Medicare Part A. Part B also covers some preventive services.


Part D: Prescription Drug Plans

Medicare works with health plans and other private companies to offer prescription drug coverage. These Medicare-approved plans are called stand-alone Part D plans.

Medicare Supplement (Medigap)

Medigap plans are sold by private health coverage companies. They help pay for some of the health care costs or “gaps” that Medicare Part A and Part B don’t cover. In most cases, you must have both Medicare Part A and Part B to purchase a Medigap policy.

Medicare Advantage Logo

Medicare Advantage

With a Medicare Advantage plan you get Medicare Part A and Part B benefits and some plans may offer extra benefits. Some Medicare Advantage plans also include prescription drug coverage in one plan. Like all Medicare plans, benefits, premiums and copayments may change from year to year.

How Medicare Works

Whether you’re new to Medicare or want a refresher, this guide will help you understand the costs, benefits and choices offered by the country’s largest health insurance program.