Medicare is a government-run
system that provides health care coverage to senior citizens.
American citizens and permanent residents aged 65 or older are
eligible for Medicare if they or their spouse has worked for at
least ten years in Medicare-covered employment. Those under 65
may qualify if they have permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis
or transplant. Disabled people who have received Social Security
benefits for two years may also be eligible.
Medicare coverage is split into two parts -- Part A, which covers
hospital stays, and Part B, which helps pay for doctor visits
and outpatient hospital visits. Private Medigap plans are available
to supplement traditional Medicare. Some seniors avoid traditional
Medicare and instead enroll in private health insurance plans
that participate in Medicare + Choice.