Medicare is a federal health insurance program. It is available to people 65 and older, people under 65 with certain disabilities and people with end-stage renal disease. When you are ready to decide on a plan, take the time to understand how the plans work. That way, you can make an informed decision and choose the plan that is right for you.
When It Comes to Coverage, You Have Options
You have the choice of your Medicare coverage. There are two primary options, Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage (also known as Part C).
What are the parts of Medicare
Original Medicare includes Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). For drug coverage, you can join an additional, separate Part D plan. Medicare Advantage (or Part C), is an “all in one” alternative to Original Medicare. These plans include Part A, Part B and, usually, Part D. Most plans offer extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as, vision, hearing, dental and more.
Learn more about the individual parts below:
Part A - Hospital Coverage
- Inpatient care in hospitals
- Skilled nursing facility care
- Hospice care
- Home health care
Part B - Medical Coverage
- Services from doctors and other health care providers
- Outpatient care
- Home health care
- Durable medical equipment (like wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds and other equipment)
- Many preventive services (like screenings, shots/vaccines and yearly "Wellness" visits)
Medicare Advantage (or Part C)
- An “all in one” alternative to Original Medicare. These plans include Part A, Part B and, usually, Part D.
- Plans may have lower out-of-pocket costs than Original Medicare.
- Most plans offer extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn't cover such as vision, hearing, dental and more.
Part D - Prescription Drug Coverage
- Cost of prescription drugs (including many recommended shots and vaccines)
Part D plans are run by private insurance companies that follow rules set by Medicare.
For definitions of the variety of medical terms used, view our glossary.