Medicare is health insurance for people who are:
- 65 and older,
- under 65 with certain disabilities, and
- all ages with severe kidney disease (permanent kidney failure that requires dialysis or a kidney transplant).
What benefits are available through Medicare?
Medicare has four parts:
- Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps cover your inpatient hospital care. Part A may also help cover skilled nursing home care, hospice, and home health care.
- Part B (Medical Insurance) helps cover doctor’s services if you need them for medical reasons, outpatient care and some preventive services to keep you healthy.
- Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans) helps pay for medical care through Medicare-approved private insurance companies. Part C combines Part A, Part B, and, sometimes, Part D (prescription drug coverage). Costs and covered services vary.
- Part D (Medicare Prescription Drug Plans) helps cover prescription drugs through companies approved by Medicare. Costs and covered services vary.
What costs are associated with Medicare?
- Part A - Most people do not pay for Part A coverage because they or a spouse have worked enough to qualify. Otherwise, there may be a fee.
- Part B – Most people pay a premium each month. If you have limited income and resources (things you own), you may be able to get help paying your Medicare premium.
- Part C and D- costs vary depending on the plan.
How do I apply for Medicare?
To apply for Medicare call the Social Security Administration (1-800-772-1213). TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778. You can also visit the Social Security website.
Where can I find out more?
- Visit Medicare on the web.
- Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
- Individual insurance counseling assistance is provided by the Virginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program (VICAP). VICAP counselors at your local Area Agency on Aging can also help you resolve claims or billing problems. To get in touch with a VICAP counselor in your area, contact your local Area Agency on Aging.
- For questions or complaints about the quality of care for a Medicare-covered service, call your local Quality Improvement Organization. Visit Medicare on the web, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to get the local telephone number. TTD users should call 1-877-486-2048.
Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services
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Last Reviewed: Thursday, February 6, 2020