What is Medicare? Who qualifies?

Medicare is the government financed health insurance program for seniors and others receiving Social Security benefits. All persons aged 65 and over who are eligible for Social Security Retirement Insurance (having earned at least 40 quarters of Social Security coverage) or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, and disabled persons who have received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for 24 months are eligible for Medicare. Individuals who have Lou Gehrig’s disease can receive Medicare immediately upon approval of SSDI. Individuals who have been diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease can be receive Medicare without a determination of disability. Some government employees may also be covered by Medicare even if they did not pay Social Security taxes.

How does Medicare work?
Medicare has four parts that cover different health care aspects.

Part A pays for hospital stays and other related services like home care, and is free to individuals entitled to Social Security, and those with 40 quarters of coverage (in 2021 individuals can purchase Part A coverage for $471 per month (with less than 30 quarters) or $249 (between 30-39 quarters). The deductible for 2021 is $1,484 per 60-day benefit period.

Learn more about Original Medicare (Parts A & B)
Part B pays for doctor’s visits and related costs, and premiums are means-tested, so can range from $148.50 to $504.90 per month in 2021. The premium will vary depending on whether the individual and/or their spouse is a high earner (subject to an Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount) and other factors like whether the individual is receiving Social Security benefits (and benefits from a “hold harmless” protection from high medical inflation). The Medicare Part B deductible is $203 in 2021.

Learn more about Original Medicare (Parts A & B)

For more in depth information on Medicare topics, please select from the list above. Counselors are available at 303-333-3482 to help with education, enrollment, problems and appeals.You may also find helpful information at Medicare’s official site, at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), or from Colorado’s Senior Health Insurance assistance Program (SHIP).