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Parts of Medicare

In 1965, the law establishing Medicare - the federal health program to provide health coverage of older Americans aged 65 and above - was signed into law. As of 2020, more than 62 million people have benefited from the program.

Despite this huge figure, which represents 18.4% of Americans, very few people understand the different parts of Medicare. It can often be confusing, especially for first-timers, making it difficult to choose the right Medicare.

Not to worry, we’ll break it down for you!

What are the parts of Medicare?

The four parts of Medicare are:

  • Medicare Part A

  • Medicare Part B

  • Medicare Part C

  • Medicare Part D

  • Medigap

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)

Medicare Part A (and Medicare Part B) is known as Medicare Original. It enables you to receive treatment with any participating hospital and doctor anywhere in the country.

Medicare Part A is for illness or injuries that require you to receive treatment in the hospital or other health care facilities. It covers:

  • A hospital stay recommended by the doctor.

  • A short-term stay for treatment in a nursing home, hospice care, or skilled nursing facility required after a stay in the hospital.

  • In-home health care recommended by the doctor, such as speech therapies and physiotherapy sessions.

  • Stay at a hospice facility provided that a doctor certifies that you have just six months to live.

Payment of premiums isn’t required for eligible people. However, they do have to pay deductibles and coinsurance.

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)

Medicare Part B helps cover the cost of doctor’s visits, tests, and outpatient treatments - typically medical services not covered by Part A.

It also covers the cost of preventive services, such as checkups, helping you to quickly detect issues before they give signs or symptoms. Medicare Part B covers:

  • Medically necessary outpatient hospital care

  • Diagnostic testing

  • Durable Medical Equipment

  • Preventive treatment

  • Medically necessary outpatient medical care

  • Ambulance rides

Medicare Part B requires a premium, which increases along with your income.

Hence, some people with employer health plans prefer not to enroll in Medicare Part B. However, most people sign up for Medicare Part A and B together.

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage)

If you’re willing to get extra medical services, then Medicare Part C is for you.

At the very least, Medicare Advantage offers the benefits of both Medicare Part A and B and is offered through private insurance companies.

Additional medical services covered by Medicare Part C includes:

  • Vision, dental, and hearing.

  • Adult care services.

  • Transport to doctor’s appointments.

Medicare Part D (Prescription Drugs)

Do you need another Medicare plan that helps pay for your drugs? You can go for Medicare Part D. It covers the payment of prescription drugs, helping you lower your spending on drugs.

You can get the benefits of Medicare Part D by buying a plan alongside your Medicare original (Part A and B) plans. Alternatively, you can sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan covering prescription drugs.

Medicare Supplement (Medigap)

Need help paying part or all of your Medicare out-of-pocket costs? You can sign up for Medicare Supplement. It covers:

  • Deductibles

  • Copayments

  • Coinsurance

Signing up for Medicare

Now that you know the parts of Medicare and what they cover, you need to know how to sign up for Medicare.

Still undecided about which Medicare plan to apply for? Let one of our licensed Medicare experts guide you through your options so you can make the best decision for your health.

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