What does medicare do?

People with end-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD) Medicare Part A hospital insurance covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facilities, hospice, laboratory tests, surgery and medical care domiciliary. If you are not legally in the U.S. Medicare is federal health insurance for anyone age 65 or older, and for some people under 65 with certain disabilities or conditions. Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides health coverage to some people with limited income and resources.

Medicaid offers benefits, such as nursing home care, personal care services, and assistance paying Medicare premiums and other costs. Generally, different parts of Medicare help cover specific services. Most beneficiaries choose to receive their Part A and B benefits through Original Medicare, the traditional fee-for-service program offered directly through the federal government. It's sometimes called traditional Medicare or Fee-for-Service (FFS) Medicare.

Under Original Medicare, the government pays directly for the health care services you receive. You can see any doctor and hospital that accepts Medicare (and most do) anywhere in the country. Medicare is the federal government's health insurance program for people over 65 and young people living with certain diseases or disabilities. Your coverage plays an important role in containing medical expenses as you age.

However, Medicare benefits don't pay for everything. Medicare is a national health care program funded by the United States Congress that created the program as part of amendments to the Social Security Act in 1965 to provide coverage for people 65 and older who did not have health insurance. Medicare Part A premiums are free if an insured person or their spouse contributed to Medicare for 10 or more years through their payroll taxes. You are responsible for paying premiums for other parts of the Medicare program.

Medicare was created on July 30, 1965, when then-President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law giving rise to Medicare and Medicaid. The Original Medicare program included what is now known as Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). For example, in 1972, Medicare was expanded to cover the disabled, people with end-stage renal disease who require dialysis or a kidney transplant, and people 65 and older who choose Medicare coverage.

Since then, even more benefits have been added, such as prescription drug coverage. For Medicaid, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) clarified that states that are not expanding can use the Medicaid program to cover COVID-19 related services for uninsured adults who would have qualified for Medicaid if the state had decided to expand. Other populations with limited Medicaid coverage are also eligible for coverage under this state option.

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