Part A: Hospital Insurance
Part A is one of two parts that make up original Medicare. It helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, care in skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and some home health care.
Part B: Medical Insurance
Part B is the second half of Original Medicare. It helps cover certain services from doctors and other health-care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and some preventive services.
Part C: Medicare Advantage (MAPD)
Part C covers all Part A and Part B benefits and services; may offer additional coverage, like vision, hearing, and dental; and may also include Medicare prescription drug coverage (must do). Medicare Advantage plans are offered through Medicare approved insurance companies. You will find a number of options that may vary based on the county in which you live. Also, you can acquire any Medicare Advantage plans without any proof of insurability.
Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage
Like Part C, Part D is run by Medicare-approved, private insurance companies. It helps cover the cost of prescription drugs, and may help lower prescription drug costs and protect against future price increases.
S is for Supplement
Also like Part C and Part D, Medicare Supplemental plans are offered through Medicare-approved private insurance companies. In this category plans range from A through N, cover the 20% gap original Medicare from the government does not cover, and do not have any drug coverage attached. You will have to obtain a drug card separately. Supplemental plans are preferred by most because, besides a premium, there are little to no additional costs, you can see your preferred doctors, and you are not restricted to the network of where you reside. Supplemental Insurance is accepted anywhere in the United States as well as having some emergency coverage when traveling abroad. Supplemental plans do require underwriting if you want to switch at a later time. Only when you age into Medicare for the first time can you acquire a supplemental plan without evidence of insurability.
Medicare Quick tips:
- It does not cost anything extra to receive advice from a Medicare agent
- Medicare has become very complex and you might actually end up costing yourself more money in the long run because of decisions you made when you first acquired your Medicare plan. A trusted agent can make a huge difference in your plan and make sure you are getting the best benefit for the least cost possible.
- Some Medicare Advantage plans have $0 premium, and are good plans with comprehensive coverage
- Medicare does not cover routine vision exams. However, there are affordable policies you can acquire which bundle Dental and Vision together.