WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PART A, B, C, AND D?
September 10, 2018
The world of health insurance can be very complicated, and government-provided health care options such as Medicare can be even more confusing. Today we’ll discuss what benefits Medicare part A, B, C, and D provide and the biggest differences between the four.
Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)
In general, Part A covers inpatient care in a hospital, inpatient care in a skilled nursing facility (not custodial or long-term care), home health care and some hospice care. If you paid Medicare taxes for ten years while working, you usually don’t pay a premium for Part A coverage! Most people get what is sometimes called “premium-free Part A”. If you don’t have a qualifying work history, you will likely have to pay a monthly premium for this coverage.
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)
Medicare Part B will provide coverage for medically necessary and preventive services like doctor’s services, hospital outpatient services, lab work, x-rays, and more. This coverage is not free, so you will have to pay a monthly premium for Part B.
Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) – An Alternative to Original Medicare.
Medicare Advantage Plans (sometimes called “Part C” or “MA Plans” are an all-in-one alternative to Original Medicare offered by private insurance companies that contract with Medicare. By law, Medicare Advantage plans must provide at least the same coverage as Original Medicare Part A and Part B. These plans may also include additional benefits such as routine vision and dental
Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D) – Covers Your Prescriptions.
Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D) are standalone plans that can work together with Original Medicare to add coverage for your prescription medications. These plans are sold through private insurers contracted with Medicare. When enrolled in a Medicare Prescription Drug plan, you will pay a monthly premium and be responsible for co-payments and meeting deductibles in some cases. Each plan can vary in cost and the drugs they cover.