Medicare Basics & Essentials
Medicare can be confusing. We developed this page in order to provide foundational information about the basic parts of Medicare. Once you’ve become familiar with Medicare Basics & Essentials, please take a more detailed look at Medicare Parts A, B, C, & D.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is health insurance that will cover particular medical supplies and services. It is available to people age 65 or older; people under the age of 65 with specific disabilities; and people of any age that have End Stage Renal Disease.
What are the components of Medicare?
Medicare is broken into 4 parts. Parts A, B, C, and D. Each of these parts will provide health coverage in a unique way.
Medicare Part A
Part A is Hospital Insurance that helps cover some of your costs. What does Part A cover?
1. Your inpatient care in a hospital.
2. Your care in a skilled nursing facility.
3. Hospice care.
4. Home health care.
Medicare Part B
Part B is your Medical Insurance that helps cover some of your costs. What does Part B cover?
1. Doctor and related health care provider services.
2. Outpatient care.
3. Home health care.
4. Durable Medical Equipment.
5. Some health preventative services.
Medicare Part C
Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage (MA). What does Part C cover?
1. Your Part A & B coverage is now managed and run by a Medicare approved insurance company and not original Medicare.
2. You are not automatically placed in a Part C (Medicare Advantage) plan. It is a choice to be made by you to join a Part C or Medicare Advantage plan.
3. Typically includes Part D (Medicare prescription drug coverage) as part of the plan. This is known as MAPD (Medicare Advantage with Part D).
Medicare Part D
Part D is your coverage for Medicare prescription drugs. What does Part D cover?
1. Part D is managed and run by private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare.
2. You are not automatically placed into a Part D plan. Just like Part C, it is a choice to join a Part D plan.
3. Part D plans are designed to help cover prescription drug costs.
4. The Part D plan may help protect against increasing drug costs in the future and lower your prescription drug costs.
Medicare pays roughly 80% of your Part A and Part B medical costs and you’re responsible for the remaining 20%. Medicare supplement insurance plans are there to help cover that 20%.
Medicare supplements have nothing to do with Part C (Medicare Advantage) or Part D. You will want to get a Part D drug plan if you opt for a Medicare Supplement to help with drug costs.
Please remember that when you become eligible for Medicare, you can opt for either a Medicare Supplement -or- a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C). You are not allowed to have both.