Medicare 101

Medicare Parts

Learning the Medicare lingo is the first step in understanding how Medicare works. There are lots of letters, plan names and new terms to understand. We want you to feel like you have a good grasp on Medicare so you can choose a plan that's right for you. This page will help you understand the common terms and how the different types of Medicare plans on the market compare to each other. Original Medicare (Parts A and B) doesn’t cover everything; you generally have to pay your deductible, 20% of your Part B medical bills and all of your prescription drug cost. Medicare Advantage insurance is designed to replace Original Medicare and be the only health care plan you need. You get your coverage for a wide array of health care services – including doctor visits, hospital care and prescription drug coverage – all in one plan.

Part A: Hospital

Part A: Hospital

Medicare Part A is Hospital insurance and helps cover cost if you are staying in a hospital, skilled nursing facility or hospice care.

Part B: Medical

Part B: Medical

Medicare Part B is Medical insurance and helps cover cost for doctor services, outpatient care, durable medical equipment and other medical services. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan you must continue to pay your Part B premium.

Part C: Medicare Advantage

Part C: Medicare Advantage

Part C also known as Medicare Advantage includes Part A, Part B and sometimes Part D. It is all in one plan.

Part D: Prescriptions

Part D: Prescriptions

Medicare Part D is Prescription Drug coverage, and helps cover the cost of many outpatient prescription drugs. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan this drug coverage is usually included into the plan, otherwise it is offered through insurance companies as a separate plan.

Medicare Plans

Medicare
Advantage
Insurance
Plans

Original Medicare (Parts A and B) doesn’t cover everything; you generally have to pay your deductible, 20% of your Part B medical bills and all of your prescription drug cost. Medicare Advantage insurance is designed to replace Original Medicare and be the only health care plan you need. You get your coverage for a wide array of health care services – including doctor visits, hospital care and prescription drug coverage – all in one plan.

Medicare supplement, or Medigap, plans are another option. In a way, Medicare Advantage replaces Original Medicare and connects all the pieces together on one plan. Supplement plans don’t replace Original Medicare. It’s more like an extra you can add on top of Original Medicare.
But if you go this route, you’ll need to make sure you have prescription drug coverage. That means that if you don’t have a Part D plan through an employer or union, you may face a penalty if you don’t buy one on your own. And supplement plans don’t come with the extra benefits you often get with Medicare Advantage, like dental and vision coverage.

Medicare has four parts. Parts A and B are called Original Medicare. They’re run by the federal government. Medicare Part C is called Medicare Advantage. You buy Medicare Advantage plans from private health insurance companies that contract with the government. They work with Original Medicare coverage. Part D covers prescription drugs. Many Medicare Advantage plans combine Parts A, B and D in one plan. And each Medicare plan only covers one person.

Medicare Plans

Medicare
Advantage
Insurance
Plans

Original Medicare (Parts A and B) doesn’t cover everything; you generally have to pay your deductible, 20% of your Part B medical bills and all of your prescription drug cost. Medicare Advantage insurance is designed to replace Original Medicare and be the only health care plan you need. You get your coverage for a wide array of health care services – including doctor visits, hospital care and prescription drug coverage – all in one plan.

Medicare supplement, or Medigap, plans are another option. In a way, Medicare Advantage replaces Original Medicare and connects all the pieces together on one plan. Supplement plans don’t replace Original Medicare. It’s more like an extra you can add on top of Original Medicare.
But if you go this route, you’ll need to make sure you have prescription drug coverage. That means that if you don’t have a Part D plan through an employer or union, you may face a penalty if you don’t buy one on your own. And supplement plans don’t come with the extra benefits you often get with Medicare Advantage, like dental and vision coverage.

Medicare has four parts. Parts A and B are called Original Medicare. They’re run by the federal government. Medicare Part C is called Medicare Advantage. You buy Medicare Advantage plans from private health insurance companies that contract with the government. They work with Original Medicare coverage. Part D covers prescription drugs. Many Medicare Advantage plans combine Parts A, B and D in one plan. And each Medicare plan only covers one person.

Last updated: 17 October, 2019 3:38 pm

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