Medicare is the government-run health care program primarily for Americans age 65 and older and certain younger people with disabilities. Begun in 1965, it now covers well over 50 million people. Since 2003, Medicare has expanded its reach by offering prescription drug coverage (Part D).
While it’s intended to protect retirees from the high cost of health care, one of the most important things to remember about Medicare is that it is not free and does not cover all health care costs. Like other insurance programs, Medicare can leave deductibles and other “cost sharing” for you to pay. Plus, there are some services –dental, vision, recovery and more — Medicare just does not cover. Some services may only be covered in certain settings or for patients with specific conditions.