Medicare is a program offered by the federal government, which provides health care coverage for those who are 65 or older, younger individuals who are disabled, and those who suffer from end-stage renal disease. Medicare is divided into four parts — A, B, C, and D — and understanding them can be a bit overwhelming. Herein, we take a look at what each of these Medicare plans comprise.
Part A (Hospital Insurance)
Parts A and B are from the Original Medicare plans. Part A covers services like inpatient hospital stays, health care, and skilled nursing facility care. Since this is a part of Original Medicare, the government pays directly for the health services you receive.
Part B (Medical Insurance)
Part B of Medicare covers aspects like outpatient services, doctor visits, and diagnostic screenings. Again, being a part of the Original Medicare, the expenses are paid by the government.
People usually enroll in Part A when they turn 65, and they can opt for this plan even if they have health insurance from an employer. Since Medicare taxes are deducted from your paycheck, you wouldn’t even have to pay a premium for Part A. In these instances, people choose to delay Part B, but it mostly depends on the type of health coverage they already have. Unlike Part A, you’ll have to pay a monthly premium for Part B.
Part C (Medicare Advantage)
Part C, or Medicare Advantage plans, are offered through private health insurance companies. Even if you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll still have your Medicare. The major difference is that this plan covers and pays for the services you receive instead of the Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage also offers the same benefits as those of Original Medicare, apart from additional benefits offered.
Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage)
Part D is offered only through private health plans. This plan is meant to help Medicare beneficiaries pay for self-administered prescription medications through prescription drug insurance premiums.