To navigate Medicare effectively, it’s crucial to understand the four different parts that make up the program. By knowing how each part operates individually and in conjunction with the others, you can make informed decisions about your healthcare coverage.
Medicare Part A
Medicare Part A provides hospital coverage. It will help pay for “room and board” fees for any hospital stays. Part A will begin paying for expenses after the deductible for the benefit period has been met.
Most individuals receive premium-free Part A. As long as an individual has worked for ten years and paid Medicare taxes during that time, Part A will remain premium-free. However, if an individual has not met that requirement, Part A can have a substantial premium.
Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B offers benefits for outpatient medical care. This includes visits to the doctor and many preventive services. It will pay 80% of covered services after the deductible has been met preventive services and outpatient care.
Medicare Part C
Medicare Part C plans offer “all-in-one” Medicare coverage. They bundle the benefits from Parts A and B and sometimes include additional benefits for routine dental, vision, and hearing services, as well as prescription drug coverage. If an individual enrolls in a Part C plan, the benefits are all provided by the private insurance company instead of the federal Medicare program.
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D offers prescription drug coverage. Like Part C plans, Part D plans are offered by private insurance companies.