Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. Certain people younger than age 65 can qualify for Medicare, too, including those who have disabilities if they have been entitled to Social Security disability benefits for 24 months.

Medicare has four parts:

• Hospital insurance (Part A) helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (following a hospital stay), some home health care and hospice care.

• Medical insurance (Part B) helps pay for doctors’ services and many other medical services and supplies that are not covered by hospital insurance.

• Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans are available in many areas. People with Medicare Parts A and B can choose to receive all of their health care services through one of these provider organizations under Part C.

• Prescription drug coverage (Part D) helps pay for medications doctors prescribe for treatment.