The four parts of Medicare are Part A (hospital insurance)Part B (medical insurance)Part C (Medicare Advantage), and Part D (drug coverage).

  1. Medicare Part A is hospital coverage. It covers inpatient care in a hospital, skilled nursing facility care, inpatient care in a skilled nursing facility (not custodial or long-term care), Hospice care, and home health care.
  2. Medicare Part B is Medical coverage. It covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services
  3. Medicare Part C is Medicare Advantage. It covers at least the benefits of Medicare Parts A and B, and typically Part D, through a private insurer. Plus Advantage plans typically cover additional benefits and cost-sharing beyond what Parts A and B cover.
  4. Medicare Part D is Perscription Drug Coverage. It helps to cover the drug costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover.

Of the above, Part A and Part B are Original Medicare. Every citizen qualifies for Original Medicare when they turn 65 or meet other criteria. Parts C and D are extra coverage options that you can sign up for if you have Original Medicare to help cover out-of-pocket costs.

TIP: There is also Medigap (Medicare Supplement), which is supplemental insurance for Medicare but which is not part of Medicare.

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