OWLCafé | Wellness


Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over; to those who are under 65 and are permanently physically disabled or who have a congenital physical disability; or to those who meet other special criteria.

Medicare in the United States somewhat resembles a single-payer health care system, but is not. Before Medicare, only 51% of people aged 65 and older had health care coverage, and nearly 30% lived below the federal poverty level. "Original Medicare" plans (when Medicare Advantage has not been elected) cover 80% of the Medicare-approved amount of any given medical cost; the remaining 20% of cost must be paid by either a Medicare Supplement plan, which is a "supplemental insurance" from a private health insurance company (normally requiring a monthly insurance premium paid to that company by the holder), or out-of-pocket via the patient's own personal funds (check, money order, cash, etc.).

Medicare Advantage plans are not Medicare Supplements, but take the place of "Original Medicare." In return for a premium, these plans share costs and cap out of pocket expenses.