Medicare Made Simple (Parts A, B, C, and D)

It's as simple as this: Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D each cover different healthcare services.

Decide which services you need and contact us at Seniors' Insurance Services to assist with enrollment!

Original Medicare is a program of the federal government, and is the way most enroll in Medicare. It has two parts:

  1. Part A (Hospital Insurance) covers most medically necessary hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health, and hospice care. There is no cost to those who have worked and paid Social Security taxes for at least 40 calendar quarters (10 years). Others may enroll by paying a monthly premium.

  2. Part B (Medical Insurance) covers most medically necessary doctors’ services, preventive care, durable medical equipment, hospital outpatient services, laboratory tests, x-rays, mental health care, and some home health and ambulance services. All insured parties pay a monthly premium for this coverage.

Medicare Part D (Prescription Drugs) provides outpatient prescription drug coverage. Part D is provided only through private insurance companies that have contracts with the government—it is never provided directly by the government (unlike Original Medicare). If you have Original Medicare, choose a stand-alone Part D plan (PDP). Otherwise, your Part D plan must be specific to the Medicare health benefits you select.

Medicare Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage. These private Medicare health plans, such as HMOs and PPOs, are optional and may be selected in place of Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans must offer at least the same benefits as Original Medicare (those covered under Parts A and B) but can do so with different rules, costs, and coverage restrictions. You also typically get Part D as part of your Medicare Advantage benefits package. Many different kinds of Medicare Advantage Plans are available. You may pay a monthly premium for this coverage, in addition to your Part B premium. Seniors' Insurance can help you select the best option for your unique needs!

This article was adapted from an earlier piece published by the Medicare Rights Center. We have re-written it to share this valuable information with our friends and clients.