Medicare is a government health insurance program that covers the medical needs of seniors (people over the age of 65) and young people with disabilities or end-stage renal disease. In this article we will be going over the four different Parts that comprise Medicare.
Medicare Part A covers hospitalization, home health services, skilled nursing facility care, nursing home care, and hospice services.
Medicare Part B covers preventive care, outpatient care, doctor?s services, ambulance services, x-rays, lab work, and medical supplies like wheelchairs and walkers.
Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is separate from Parts A and B. In other words, they?re two different health insurance policies. Part C includes Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), special needs plans, private fee-for-service plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. Plans under Medicare Part C are run by private companies even though they are regulated by the government. So, they are required to offer coverage that is comparable to what one would get under the original Medicare plans (Part A and B). Many Part C plans include prescription drug coverage, which brings us to Part D.
Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage; however, it is offered only through private companies and cannot be purchased as a policy on its own. For those covered by Medicare Parts A and B (also known as ?original Medicare?), Part D is an optional add-on that comes with additional costs.
As soon as you turn 65, you are automatically enrolled in original Medicare. You can opt out and select Part C if you prefer that plan. Keep in mind that most Part C plans will have a higher monthly premium than original Medicare.
Make sure you carefully review all of the details of each plan and consider your health and budget before making any decisions.