Medicare and You
Are Medicare and Medicaid the same?
No. Sometimes they get confused. Click here to learn more about Medicaid.
Medicare has several parts: A, B, C, and D
Part A: Hospital Insurance
With few exceptions, this is free. It helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, as well as skilled nursing care, hospice, and home health care. However, it may not pay 100% of these costs.
To cover the difference, you might buy a Medicare insurance Supplement Plan, or Medigap policy. Same thing.
Part B: Medical Insurance
Part B covers doctors’ services, hospital outpatient care, home health care, and some preventive services to help support your health and to keep certain illnesses from getting worse.
Again, to cover the difference, you might buy a Supplement Plan (or Medigap policy).
Part C: Advantage Plans
These are insurance plans offered by private companies that are approved by Medicare.
An Advantage Plan offers all of your Part A and all of your Part B coverage. By law, Medicare Advantage Plans must cover all the services covered by Original Medicare, except hospice.
So what about hospice care? Original Medicare covers that, even if you have an Advantage Plan.
Are Medicare Advantage Plans supplemental coverage? No: see below.
Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage
This helps cover the cost of your prescription drugs. Part D is run by private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare. It may not cover the complete cost, but offers a very significant discount.