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What Is Medicare?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people ages 65 or older. Others younger than 65 may also be eligible if they have certain disabilities or diseases, such as End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Learn more about ESRD eligibility. (Please note that by clicking on this link, you will be leaving Memorial Hermann Advantage website).

Medicare is made up of four parts:



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Original Medicare: Medicare Part A
(Hospital Insurance)

Part A (Hospital Insurance) primarily covers inpatient costs. These costs can include hospital stays for a set number of days, brief stays in a skilled nursing facility (for rehabilitation) and hospice benefits (including hospice care, prescription medications and grief counseling). Additionally, if certain conditions are met, Part A may also include some home health care benefits.

Learn more about Part A of Original Medicare

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Original Medicare: Medicare Part B
(Medical Insurance)

Part B (Medical Insurance) primarily covers outpatient costs, including doctor visits. Part B covers certain services, such as X-rays, lab tests, chemotherapy and vaccinations, among other treatments administered in a doctor’s office or on an outpatient basis. Outpatient care, home health, ambulance services and preventive services may also be covered. Part B can also help with the cost of medical supplies, including durable medical equipment such as canes and scooters for the mobility-impaired, prosthetic devices, oxygen, and eyeglasses.

Generally, you pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount after you pay your Medicare Part B deductible for the year. Medicare pays the other 80 percent.

Learn more about Part B of Original Medicare

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Medicare Part C
(Medicare Advantage Plans)

Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is a type of Medicare health plan offered by private health insurance companies, contracted with Medicare, that sell products to provide you with all of your Part A and Part B benefits. Memorial Hermann Advantage is one of those products.

While you must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium, Part C coverage can help pay for services that Original Medicare does not.

In many cases, Medicare Advantage plans offer enhanced benefits that Original Medicare does not cover, like vision, dental and prescription drug coverage. Therefore, benefits and costs may vary from plan to plan.

Medicare Advantage plans can be offered by Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), Private Fee-for-Service Plans (PFFS), Special Needs Plans (SNPs) and Medical Savings Account Plans (MSAs). Memorial Hermann Advantage is available in two types of Medicare Advantage plans: Memorial Hermann Advantage PPO and Memorial Hermann Advantage HMO.

Learn why you or your loved ones may need the additional benefits of Medicare Advantage coverage from Memorial Hermann Advantage plans.

Learn more about the basics of Medicare Part C

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Medicare Part D
(Prescription Drug Coverage)

Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage) is run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies and helps those who are eligible for Medicare pay for prescription drugs. You can get Part D through a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) or you can get it through a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan. Because these are privatized benefits, costs may vary.

Learn more about the basics of Medicare Part D


About Original Medicare — Parts A and B >