Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

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Commonly abbreviated to CMS, the centers for Medicare and Medicaid services is a department in the United States department of health that is responsible to administer the Medicare services and assist the states in administering the Medicaid services.

Medicare is a health insurance program for:

  • People age 65 or older.
  • People under age 65 with certain disabilities.
  • People of all ages with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant).

Medicare has different parts that help cover specific services:

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) - Part A helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, including critical access hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities (not custodial or long-term care). It also helps cover hospice care and some home health care. Beneficiaries must meet certain conditions to get these benefits. Most people don't pay a premium for Part A because they or a spouse already paid for it through their payroll taxes while working.

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) - Part B helps cover doctors' services and outpatient care. It also covers some other medical services that Part A doesn't cover, such as some of the services of physical and occupational therapists, and some home health care. Part B helps pay for these covered services and supplies when they are medically necessary. Most people pay a monthly premium for Part B.

Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage) - Medicare prescription drug coverage is available to everyone with Medicare. To get Medicare prescription drug coverage, people must join a plan approved by Medicare that offers Medicare drug coverage. Most people pay a monthly premium for Part D.

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