Medicare (Title XVIII of the Social Security Act)

A federal program that provides health care coverage to people age 65 and older, and to those who are under 65 and are permanently disabled or who have a congenital disability; or to those who meet other special criteria such as end-stage renal disease. Eligible individuals can receive coverage for hospital services (Medicare Part A), physician-based medical services (Medicare Part B), coverage through a private insurance plan (Medicare Part C – Medicare Advantage) and prescription drugs (Medicare Part D). Together, Medicare Part A and B are known as Original Medicare.