Medicare Basics

Medicare Part A and Part B are often referred to as “Original Medicare.” Original Medicare is health insurance for people 65 or older, people under 65 with certain disabilities, and people of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD – permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant).

Medicare actually has 4 parts. The terminology of Medicare can be confusing, so any time we refer to “Part” A or “Part” D; we are referring to the portion that is controlled and regulated by Medicare. Medicare has “Parts.” Later we can discuss Medicare supplement “plans,” which are sold by insurance companies. 

“Part A, B, C or D” refer to Medicare, which is run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
“Plans F, G, or N” refer to Medicare supplement plans sold by different insurance companies.

Let’s briefly describe what each Part of Medicare helps cover. Click the name of each for more detail:

Medicare Part A

Hospital Coverage

  • Inpatient care in Hospitals
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Care
  • Hospice Care
  • Home Health Care

Medicare Part B

Medical (Doctor) Coverage

  • Services from Doctors and other health care providers
  • Outpatient Care
  • Durable Medical Equipment (crutches, walkers, oxygen, etc)
  • Some preventative services

Medicare Part C

Medicare Advantage Plans

  • All benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B
  • Often includes Part D coverage as Part of the plan
  • Run by Medicare approved Insurance Companies
  • Replaces Original Medicare (Part A and Part B)

Medicare Part D

Prescription Medicines

  • Helps reduce the costs of prescription drugs
  • Run by Medicare approved Insurance Companies

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