One thing about Medicare that seems to confuse a lot of people is the different parts. Medicare is divided into four parts known as Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D.
Medicare Part A is similar to normal health insurance that covers you in the hospital when you get hurt or sick. Medicare Part A can also help cover a stay in a skilled nursing facility while you recover or hospice care for the terminally ill.
Medicare Part B provides coverage for medically necessary services like doctor’s office visits, home health services, and outpatient tests. It also helps cover some preventive services that maintain your health and wellness or keep certain illnesses from getting worse.
Medicare Part C is more commonly known as Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage plans are a wonderful way to get extra Medicare benefits, sometimes at no additional monthly cost. They combine Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, and many times Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage plans are managed by private insurance companies like Viva Medicare and must be approved by Medicare. These plans must have at least the same coverage as Medicare, but they usually have more and may even include such services as dental, vision, and hearing that Original Medicare alone does not cover.
Medicare Part D provides prescription drug coverage, and it may help lower your prescription drug costs. It’s important to look for a plan that includes Part D, as prescription drug costs alone can sometimes amount to large out-of-pocket expenses.
So in a nutshell, Medicare Part A provides coverage for hospital stays and skilled nursing facility care. Medicare Part B covers doctor visits, routine health procedures, and emergency department visits. Private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare offer Medicare Part C, and are also called Medicare Advantage Plans. Remember, Part C combines the benefits of Part A & B, and in many instances Part D prescription drug coverage.