- Medicare Part A (inpatient hospital coverage)
- Medicare Part B (outpatient medical coverage)
- Medicare Part C (combines your Part A and Part B
- Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage)
Medicare Part A
Medicare Part A helps cover your inpatient care in hospitals, including critical access hospitals. It also covers skilled nursing facilities (not custodial or long-term care) in-skilled nursing facilities, as well as hospice care and home health care. You must meet certain conditions to get these benefits.
Cost: You usually don't pay a monthly premium for Part A coverage if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working.
Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B helps cover medical services, such as doctors’ services, outpatient care, and other medical services that Medicare Part A doesn’t cover, if those services are medically necessary for you. Medicare Part B is optional. You have to enroll in Part B and pay a monthly premium. Your monthly premium depends on your income (see chart). Part B also covers some preventive services.
Medicare Part C
Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) is another way to get your Medicarebenefits. It combines Part A, Part B, and, sometimes, Part D (prescriptiondrug) coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans are managed by privateinsurance companies approved by Medicare. These plans must covermedically-necessary services. However, plans can charge differentco-payments, co-insurance, or deductibles for these services.
Medicare Part DMedicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) is available to everyone withMedicare. Private companies approved by Medicare provide this coverage.If you are in Original Medicare, you choose a separate Medicare PrescriptionDrug Plan and pay a monthly premium. Costs vary by plan. In addition to theplan premium, there is a charge based on your 2011 income (see chart below):