Summary — What is Medicare?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program that was created in 1965 to help Americans who are 65 years or older, and certain persons categorized by the government as disabled, pay for health care.

In 1997, legislation renamed a Christian Science “sanatorium” as a Religious Non-medical Health Care Institution (RNHCI). Chestnut Hill Benevolent Association is a RNHCI and participates as such in the Medicare program.

One of the best sources for general information about Medicare is the website, Most basic questions about Medicare are covered in the government booklet, Medicare & You 2021, which can be read online or downloaded from the website. Medicare & You defines Medicare Parts A & B.

Parts A, B, C, D

Part A (Hospital Insurance) a Social Security benefit and that covers your Christian Science nursing care, room, meals, and some supplies in a RNHCI.

Part B (Medical Insurance) helps cover medically-necessary services like doctors’ services and outpatient care. Medicare Part B does not directly cover any of the services at a RNHCI such as the BA.

Part C (privatized Medicare Health Plans) a Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide you with all your Part A and Part B benefits; this includes Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs). Medicare services are covered through the plan and aren’t paid for under Original Medicare.

Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage) Optional benefits for prescription drugs available to all people with Medicare for an additional charge. This coverage is offered by insurance companies and other private companies approved by Medicare


To apply for Medicare Part A and/or Parts B and D benefits, you should call the Social Security Administration at 1(800) 772-1213 or visit your local Social Security office three to six months before your 65th birthday. Enrolling in Part A is included in your Social Security Benefit package at no additional cost to you. Enrolling in Part B and Part D is your choice.

Important to Note

Medicare provides basic coverage, but it does not cover all health care costs. It was designed this way to help prevent major medical expenses from causing financial ruin.
It was not designed to pay 100% of your health care bills.