Medicare is the national healthcare system for people over the age of 65. Medicare insurance covers most medical services (both inpatient and outpatient), durable medical equipment, and medications.
Medicare Part A - Hospitalization
Medicare Part A helps cover inpatient hospital services, skilled nursing facilities, home health and hospice care.
Medicare Part B - Outpatient Medical
Medicare Part B helps cover most routine doctor visits (including specialists), outpatient services, mental health and preventive care. It also helps cover laboratory tests, x-rays, clinical research, ambulance services and durable medical equipment.
Medicare Part C - Medicare Advantage
Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage (MA), is an alternative way to receive Medicare benefits through private insurance companies. Medicare Advantage plans work in place of your Part A and Part B combining coverage for hospital care, doctor visits and other medical services all in one plan.
Includes all benefits of Part A, including Hospital stay, skilled nursing, home health care and associate services
Includes all the benefits for Part B, including doctor visits, outpatient care, screening and lab tests, and associated services
Medicare Advantage usually includes Prescription Drug Coverage (Medicare Part D) and may include extra coverage for dental, vision and even hearing.
Medicare Part D - Prescription Drug Coverage
Medicare Part D is private insurance to help cover the cost of prescription medications. Part D plans provide coverage for both generic and brand name medications and can be added to Medicare Part A, B or Medicare Supplement Plans
Medicare Supplement - Medigap
Medicare Supplement, also known as Medigap, is private insurance that supplements Medicare Parts A and B. Medigap plans help cover some out-of-pocket costs for Parts A and B such copayments, coinsurance and deductibles.
Medicare Part A is provided at no charge if you worked and paid into Social Security.
The most popular Medicare Supplement plans are F, G, and N. Plan F is considered to provide the broadest coverage and covers all the gaps left by Medicare Parts A and B. Plan G is almost identical to a plan F except you are responsible for paying your Part B deductible.
In order to have a Medigap plan you must be signed up for Medicare Part B. Medigap does not offer any additional benefits such as dental, vision or hearing.
Medigap does not cover prescription drug costs. You can add a Medicare Part D along with your Medigap coverage. If you have Medicare Part C, you do not need a Medigap plan as they cannot be used together.
Not all plans may be available in your state.