What is medicare?
Medicare is a program that provides health insurance to the elderly, disabled, and those who have been diagnosed with certain conditions. Medicare was first introduced in 1965 and was available to people over 65 years old. It has since expanded to cover those who are disabled or have other conditions that require extra medical care.
Medicare started as part of the Social Security Act, which was signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. The name "Medicare" came from combining two words: "medicine" and "care." Originally, Medicare covered only hospital stays and doctor visits; however, it has expanded several times since then to include more services. Medicare does not pay for everything. It pays only part of your covered health care costs, which means you will probably have to pay some of these costs yourself. Most Medicare plans have deductibles, coinsurance and other out-of-pocket expenses. These can add up quickly!
Medicare has two parts: Part A and Part B. Part A covers hospital stays, skilled nursing facility stays after a hospital stay, home health care services, hospice care, kidney dialysis and ambulance services. It also covers some prescription drugs.
Part B covers outpatient services such as doctor's office visits, diagnostic tests such as x-rays or lab work done outside of a hospital setting (like at an imaging center), outpatient surgery like cataract surgery or joint replacement surgery done in an outpatient facility like a hospital affiliated clinic instead of an operating room at an acute care hospital facility (i.e., no overnight stay required). Part B also covers physical therapy sessions ordered by doctors as well as some durable medical equipment (DME) such as canes and walkers if it's medically necessary for your condition.(Medicare).