What is 'Medicare'

Medicare is a U.S. federal health program that subsidizes people who meet one of the following criteria:

1. An individual aged 65 or older who has been a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident for five years.

2. An individual who is disabled and has collected Social Security for a minimum of two years.

3. An individual who is undergoing dialysis for kidney failure or who is in need of a kidney transplant.

4. An individual who has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease).

Medicare helps out people at a time in their lives when they may have serious health problems but lack the funding for treatment.


Medicare is divided into two parts. The first part of the coverage encompasses in-patient hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health and hospice care. The second part of coverage encompasses almost all the necessary medical services (doctors' services, laboratory and x-ray services, wheelchairs, etc).