Medicare is a national insurance program, designed and run by the federal government for the senior citizens and the disabled. It provides hospital and medical insurance for most people over age 65, for people of any age with permanent kidney failure and for certain disabled people under 65. Medicare's hospital insurance (Part A), generally helps pay for medically necessary inpatient care in a general hospital, skilled nursing facility, psychiatric hospital or hospice care. Medicare's medical insurance (Part B), for a monthly premium, generally covers doctors' services, outpatient hospital services, laboratory fees and more. Medicare pays only part, not all, of health care bills. Deductibles and co-payments, can produce sizable out-of-pocket costs. Special Medicare Supplement policies can be purchased to fill in Medicare's gaps in coverage.

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