Medicare is the public and federal health insurance within the US healthcare system for elderly or disabled citizens. Any citizen over the age of 65, any citizen with a recognized disability, and any citizen with acute renal failure requiring permanent dialysis or kidney transplantation may be eligible for Medicare.
There are four “parts” to your Medicare benefits:
Part A: Your Inpatient/Hospital Plan
Part A (also called Original Medicare) is managed by Medicare and provides Medicare coverage for is your nursing care and hospital stays, although not doctors’ fees and expenses. Part A also covers some home health services, skilled nursing care after a hospital stay and hospice care.
Part A is also free of charge for most people as long as they have worked at least 10 years in the U.S.
Part B: Your Outpatient/Medical Plan
Part B is optional. It provides outpatient/medical coverage. Medicare Part B includes coverage for services like doctor office visits, lab tests, diagnostic imaging, preventive care, surgeries, ambulance rides, X-rays, ambulance services and blood transfusion.
Many of these procedures and processes may happen in a hospital. However, they fall under Part B because doctors provide them, so it’s not always easy to distinguish between what is inpatient vs outpatient care.
You may be wondering if you really need Part B. The answer is YES if Medicare will be your main coverage or only coverage.
Part C: Your Private Insurance Option
Part C plans are offered through private insurance companies and approved by Medicare such as our agency.
They are also called Medicare Advantage or Medicare Health plans. To be eligible for a Part C plan, you must first enroll in Medicare A and B.
The benefits of Part C plans is that you get medical services that are not covered by Plan A and B such as vision and dental care, if you sign up with our agency you also get prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Part D: Your Prescription Drug Plan
Medicare Part D, also called the Medicare prescription drug benefit, is an optional program to help Medicare beneficiaries pay for prescription drugs, specifically the ones that are self-administered.