Medicare Basics

What Is Medicare?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people

  • age 65 and older
  • under age 65 with certain disabilities who have been receiving Social Security disability benefits for a certain amount of time (24 months in most cases)
  • of any age who have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), which is permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant.

Medicare helps with the cost of health care, but it does not cover all medical expenses.

(Watch the video to learn about important ways to get information about Medicare. To enlarge the video, click the brackets in the lower right-hand corner. To reduce the video, press the Escape (Esc) button on your keyboard.)