Medicare Basics

Medicare is health insurance for people age 65 or older, under age 65 with certain disabilities and people of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease. This section will discuss the 4 parts of Medicare which include Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D.

The different parts of Medicare help cover specific services if you meet certain conditions.

Medicare Part A
(Hospital Insurance)

  • Helps cover inpatient care in hospitals (includes critical access hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and long-term care hospitals).
  • Helps cover skilled nursing facility (not custodial or long-term care), hospice, and home health care services.

Medicare Part B
(Medical Insurance)

  • Helps cover doctor services and outpatient care.
  • Helps cover some preventive services to help maintain a person’s health and to keep certain illnesses from getting worse.
  • Generally pays 80% of the Medicare-approved amount for covered services
  • Covers medical equipment and supplies

Medicare Part C
(Medicare Advantage Plans)

  • A way to get Medicare benefits through private companies approved by and under contract with Medicare.
  • Includes Part A, Part B, and usually other benefits Medicare doesn’t cover. Most plans also provide prescription drug coverage.

Medicare Part D
(Prescription Drug Coverage)

  • Run by private companies approved by Medicare, which can either be Medicare Advantage Plans or separate Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.
  • Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs.
  • Each plan can vary in cost and drugs covered.