Different parts of Medicare help cover specific services:

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)

Part A helps cover inpatient hospital stays, inpatient care in a skilled nursing facility (not custodial or long term care), hospice care, and some home health care.  You usually do not pay a monthly premium for Part A coverage if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working.

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)

Part B helps cover certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, and other medical services. Generally, a monthly premium will be deducted from your monthly Social Security Check for Part B ($134.00 in 2017 (or higher depending on your income)). However, most people who get Social Security benefits paid less than this amount ($109 on average).

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans)

Part C is a term to describe Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. MA plans are offered by private companies that contract with Medicare to provide you with all of your Part A and Part B benefits. MA plans include Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), Private Fee-for-Service Plans (PFFS), Special Needs Plans (SNP), and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans (MSA). If you're enrolled in an MA plan, most Medicare services are covered through the plan and aren't paid for under Original Medicare. Most MA plans also offer prescription drug coverage.

Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage)

Part D provides coverage for prescription drugs. You can select an MA plan that includes Part D coverage called a Medicare Advantage Part D Plan (MAPD) or purchase a Stand-Alone Part D Drug Plan (PDP) that adds drug coverage to Original Medicare, some Medicare Cost Plans, some Medicare Private-Fee-for-Service Plans and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. Part D is not available directly from Medicare, both MAPDs and PDPs are offered by insurance companies and other private companies that are approved by Medicare.

To learn more about Medicare go to www.medicare.gov

This webpage was updated on October 5, 2017.