What Is Medicare?

Medicare is a federal insurance program that provides health insurance for people 65 and older and individuals younger than 65 who may qualify due to a disability. Original Medicare is a term used to describe traditional Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. Medicare Part C, Part D, and Supplemental Insurance are coverage options in addition to or instead of Original Medicare.

  • If you already get benefits from Social Security, you’ll get Medicare Part A and Part B automatically when you’re first eligible and don’t need to sign up.

  • If you’re over 65 (or turning 65 in the next 3 months) and are not already getting benefits from Social Security, you need to sign up to get Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). You won’t get Medicare automatically.

There are 5 different types of Medicare coverage — Part A, B, C, and D, as well as Medicare Supplement plans. Click on an option below to learn more about these types of Medicare coverage.

Part A

Hospital Care

Part B

Outpatient Care

Part C


Part D

Prescription Drug Coverage

Medicare Supplements

Medicare Supplemental (GAP) Plans