Medicare Basics

For many years, Medicare had two major parts: A for hospital insurance and B for medical insurance.  These parts are known as the Original Medicare Plan.  In recent years, two additional parts were added to Medicare.

Here are the four parts of the program

Part A (Hospital Insurance)  Covers inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, some home health and hospice care.  Part A does not cover long-term care.

Part B (Medical Insurance)  Covers doctors’ services and outpatient care, other medical services that Part A does not cover (like physical and occupational therapists), and some home health.

Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans)  Private companies such as HMO, PPO and Private Fee-for-Service Plans provide both Part A and Part B benefits to eligible people who enroll.  Most plans include prescription drug coverage.  Plan availability vary from county to county.

Part D (Medicare Prescription Drug coverage)  Private companies contract with Medicare to provide this coverage

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