Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people 65 years of age or older, some people with disabilities under age 65 and people with End-Stage Renal Disease.
Medicare Part A is hospital insurance. Part B, which is optional, is medical insurance for outpatient hospital care and doctor's services. The costs vary depending on the plan, coverage and services used. You have your choice of doctors in these plans.
Medicare Part C is called Medicare Advantage and combines Part A and Part B. These are plans run by private insurance companies. Generally, you must see doctors in the plan. The costs may be lower than in the original Medicare plan which is Part A and Part B.
Download the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid 120-page handbook
This is the official government site for Medicare. It contains a lot of information and can be a little confusing to navigate.
The site includes several ways to find a listing of Part D drug plans. The Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder will help you find a plan based on the medicine that you are taking. It is always best to speak with the company offering the Part D to verify that the plan currently covers your medication.
This website for the Medicare Rights Center includes clearly written basic information on Medicare including how to choose a plan and information on Part D.
If you would like speak with someone about sorting out your Medicare options, go one of the sites below
The Eldercare Locator is a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging. The site connects older people and caregivers with information on senior services including Medicare. A few clicks will usually bring up phone numbers for local groups that can help answer questions.
State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) are agencies that were established to provide information and counseling to people eligible for Medicare. These programs provide free, unbiased information and referrals about health access and insurance including Medicare and Medicare Part D.
At this site you can locate a local program that will provide individual counseling with paid staff or a trained volunteer.