The Parts of Medicare are often a confusing topic for new Medicare beneficiaries. Especially when you start confusing the Medicare plans offered by Medicare Supplement companies that are also differentiated by Letters A through L. The good news, as with anything that we write about is that we understand it, so we can help you understand it!

There are 4 Parts of Medicare. Medicare Part A, B, C and D.

Parts of Medicare – Part A

Medicare Part A is your hospital insurance which is used for inpatient hospital expenses, skilled nursing facilities and hospice care. It also covered some home health care. For those individuals and/or their spouses who worked at least 40 quarters through their working life, their Part A premium is already paid by the time they get to Medicare enrollment.

Parts of Medicare – Part B

Medicare Part B is your outpatient medical insurance and it is optional. It pays got a good portion of your doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies and preventive services. It is a good idea to get a supplemental Medigap plan to cover the gaps in Part B.

Parts of Medicare – Part C

Medicare Part C is actually Medicare Advantage insurance, and it is optional. If you want Part C, then you will need to have Part A and Part B as well. Also called MA or MAPD when it’s combined with a Part D RX plan. Part C is sold my private insurance companies and has been around since 1997. When you have Part C, you are actually giving up your Part A and Part B benefits from the government and assigning them to the private company. There can be significant limitations to Medicare Part C, the most notable being diminished provider networks and high out of pocket expenses. Part C has it’s place and is a good option for some, however, you should consult with a knowledgable broker before buying Part C.

Parts of Medicare – Part D

Medicare Part D is your prescription drug coverage and it is optional. This coverage can be purchased by itself to be used with Original Medicare or a Medigap plan. It can also be purchased as an addition to a Part C Medicare Advantage plan.