Medicare Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Medicare, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Medicare?

Federal program that makes health insurance programs available to people over the age of 65 and disabled persons who qualify. Medicare Part A provides hospital insurance and Medicare Part B provides medical insurance.

History and Meaning of Medicare

Medicare is a federal program in the United States that provides health insurance to individuals over the age of 65 and those with certain disabilities. It was enacted into law in 1965 as part of the Social Security Act and was designed to provide health insurance to the elderly and disabled, who were often unable to afford health care. Medicare is divided into two parts. Part A covers hospital insurance, and Part B covers medical insurance.

Examples of Medicare

  1. Mary, who is 67, receives Medicare Part A and Part B to cover her medical expenses.
  2. John, who has been receiving Social Security disability benefits for two years, is now eligible for Medicare.
  3. Bob, who is 72 and retired, had to go to the hospital for a surgery and used his Medicare Part A to cover the costs.
  4. Medicare Advantage plans are private insurance options offered to individuals with Medicare Part A and Part B.
  5. Jenny, who has Medicare Part D, receives coverage for her prescription drugs.

Legal Terms Similar to Medicare

  • Medicaid: a jointly funded, federal and state program that provides health insurance to individuals with low incomes.
  • Social Security: a federal program that provides retirement, disability, and survivors' benefits.
  • Affordable Care Act: a federal law enacted in 2010 that aims to improve access to health care and reduce health care costs.