Medicare Basics for Caregivers

Medicare Basics for Caregivers

For caregivers unfamiliar with the basics of Medicare, here is a brief summary of information that covers the most essential information. For further information, please refer to the "About Caregiving" portion of our website.

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for U. S. citizens (or legal residents that have lived in the U.S. for five years in a row).  Medicare eligibility is not based on income.

Those eligible for Medicare include:

  • People 65 years of age or older
  • People under age 65 with certain disabilities
  • People with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)

Original Medicare covers only Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B and pays for hospital and medical insurance, respectively.  Medicare Part A helps pay for inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing facilities, home health care, hospice and other related services.  Only those Medicare beneficiaries without sufficient work history and who have not paid Medicare taxes in payroll taxes are required to pay a monthly Medicare Part A premium.  Medicare Part B helps pay for medically-necessary doctors’ services, lab work and other outpatient care.  You are required to pay a monthly Medicare Part B premium (based on income and when you applied for Medicare Part B).

For more information on Medicare, go to About Medicare [link].

Social Security is the mandated supplemental retirement system in the U.S.  When individuals reach age 62, they are eligible to apply for social security benefits.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) determines how much the individual will receive each month based on age at the time of application and contribution.  There are three major Social Security programs: social security retirement, social security survivors, and social security disability.

For more information about Social Security, go to or call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778) from 7 a.m.- 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.