You're not the first person to wonder, "What's Medicare?" Health insurance can sometimes feel like a box of puzzle pieces with no instructions and no picture to guide you. Thankfully, Direct Auto Insurance is here to help you put the puzzle together. Follow along for a basic overview of key information.

What's Medicare?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for qualified individuals age 65 and older, and for some people under the age of 65 with certain disabilities or those who have permanent kidney failure.

Key Medicare Coverages

Medicare has four primary parts: Part A, B, C, and D.

  • Medicare Part A: In general, Medicare Part A covers hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, nursing home care, hospice, and home health services. Part A is often referred to as "Hospital Insurance." Learn more about Medicare Part A on
  • Medicare Part B: In general, Part B covers two types of services: 1) medically necessary services/supplies required to diagnose or treat a medical condition and 2) preventative health care that is meant to prevent illness or detect an illness at an early stage. Part B is often referred to as Medical Insurance. Learn more about Medicare Part B on
  • Medicare Part C: Part C is offered through private health insurance companies that contract with Medicare to provide Part A and B benefits. It is sometimes referred to as Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage plans give you the opportunity to get the same benefits as Original Medicare with additional coverage that can include vision and dental care, hearing exams, and prescription drug coverage.
  • Medicare Part D: Part D is prescription drug coverage that can help pay for the cost of prescription drugs you may need. Part D coverage is available as a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (if you have Original Medicare) or included in coverage of many Medicare Advantage plans. It is important to note that although Part D is optional, if you do not enroll in prescription drug coverage when you are first eligible, you will likely pay a late enrollment fee if you decide to join at a later date. Learn more about Medicare Part D on

    Medicare vs. Medicaid Coverage

    Medicare can sometimes be confused with Medicaid. Medicaid is also a government program that provides health insurance, but Medicaid eligibility depends on your income level. In some states, Medicaid is available to those under a certain income level who meet certain other criteria (like age, disability, or pregnancy). In other states, it's available to all people below a certain income level. Medicare eligibility is not determined by income.

    Get Help With Health Insurance

    There's a lot more to know about Medicare, especially when it comes to enrolling in the plan that best meets your health care coverage needs. Start comparing Medicare plans today with help from our friends at* and get a quote by calling 1-844-961-9453 - TTY 711 to speak to a licensed sales agent and find Medicare coverage that's right for you.   Standard call center hours of operation are Monday - Friday 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PT. During Medicare's Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), extended hours are Monday - Saturday 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. PT.

    * is a non-government site and is operated by HealthCompare Insurance Services, a licensed health insurance agency certified to sell Medicare products. It contains information about and access to insurance plans for Medicare beneficiaries, individuals soon eligible for Medicare and those advising on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries. is not endorsed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), or any other government agency. If you're looking for the government's Medicare site, please navigate to HealthCompare Insurance Services, Inc. is a licensed and certified representative of Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO and PFFS organizations and Medicare Prescription Drug plans with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any plan depends on contract renewal. The purpose of this communication is the solicitation of insurance. Contact will be made by an insurance agent/producer or insurance company. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, premium and/or copayments/coinsurance may change on January 1, of each year. The plans we represent do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

    *All products described herein are subject to terms and conditions

    *Not all products, discounts or payment plans are available in all states or distribution channels