Medicare Plans

There are three main types of Medicare plans, each of which has several sub-plans. Below, you will find a simple description of each.

Original Medicare (Parts A & B)

Also know as Medicare Parts A and B, Original Medicare is available to anyone meeting one or more of the following conditions:

  • Anyone 65 years of age or older
  • Those under 65 who have certain disabilities
  • Those with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)

Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A is also known as hospital insurance including:

  • Inpatient hospital care
  • Home healthcare, skilled nursing and hospice care

Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B acts as medical insurance and covers the following:

  • Doctors visits
  • Medical equipment
  • Outpatient care
  • Home care
  • Some preventative services

Medicare Advantage (Part C)

Similar to an HMO or PPO, Medicare Advantage plans are provided by government approved private insurance companies. The government pays these companies a flat amount every month, based on your health situation. The Medicare Advantage Plan provider must follow rules set forth by Medicare, but much like an HMO or PPO, costs, copays and coverage can differ.

  • Emergency care
  • Urgent care
  • All services covered under Original Medicare except hospice, which is still covered by Original Medicare
  • Many include extra coverage for vision hearing and dental
  • Most, but not all, provide prescription drug coverage

Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D)

Medicare Part D adds prescription drug coverage to Original Medicare. Plans vary significantly based on the premiums you choose, what drugs you take and copays.

Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap)

Medigap policies are designed to cover some of the healthcare costs that aren’t covered by Original Medicare. These policies are provided by private insurance companies but are standardized by Medicare using letters A through N. So, for example, a Medigap Plan F provides the same benefits regardless of what company you purchase it form. The only difference is cost.

Now you are probably wondering what plans A though N cover. The best way to find out is to talk to a licensed professional, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services also provide this useful chart to help you understand coverage.



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Medicare Supplemental plans can pay costs over and above Original Medicare's coverage.