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Are you confused about Medicare Parts? Part A, B, C and D? Don’t panic. I’ll explain what all this alphabet means!
There are four main “parts” of Medicare insurance: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance) together make up Original Medicare. Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) programs that let you get Medicare plans through private insurance companies that contract with Medicare.
Let’s look at each part individually.
Medicare Part A typically pays for your inpatient hospital expenses, hospice services, home health care, and care in a skilled nursing facility. You don’t have to pay extra for Part A if you have worked and paid Social Security taxes for at least 40 calendar quarters ( or 10 years);
Medicare Part B typically covers most medically necessary doctors’ services, preventive care, durable medical equipment, hospital outpatient services, lab tests, x-rays, mental health care, and some home health and ambulance services. You pay a monthly premium for this coverage.
Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) are private health plans These policies, must cover at least the same benefits covered under Medicare Part A and Part B; however, your costs may be different, and you may have extra benefits, such as coverage for prescription drugs or extra days in the hospital. If you want, you can choose to get your Medicare coverage through a Medicare Advantage Plan instead of Original Medicare. Some plans also cover Part D as part of your Medicare Advantage benefits package. You may pay a monthly premium for this coverage, in addition to your Part B premium.
Part D is the part of Medicare that provides outpatient prescription drug coverage. Part D is provided only through private insurance companies that have contracts with the government — it is never provided directly by the government (like Original Medicare is). If you want Part D, it is very important to select Part D coverage that works with your Medicare health benefits. If you have Original Medicare, choose a stand-alone Part D plan (PDP). It is very important to choose a plan that covers your medications. Every Medicare Prescription Drug Plan has a formulary that lists the drugs it covers. A plan’s formulary may change at any time, so make sure to check it periodically.
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