Medicare Alphabet Soup
This soup starts with the meat and potatoes.
Meat: Medicare Part A (Hospital)
Medicare Part B (Medical)
Potatoes: Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage)
These ingredients will make the broth: Medicare Part C (A + B + D = C)
The other name for Medicare Part C is a Medicare Advantage Plan. It does not matter if it is an HMO, PPO or Dual Special Needs, they are all C plans.
Now we will add the Medicare Supplement Plans which are A, B, C, D, F, G, K, and L to complete the soup.
Now that all of the ingredients are in the pot, lets take a closer look at each one:
Medicare Part C – These are Medicare Advantage plans also referred to as MA or MAPD plans. They give you extra benefits such as dental, vision, hearing, gym memberships and over-the-counter allowances to name a few. They can also include Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage but there are plans that do not (for beneficiaries who have VA benefits for example). Most Medicare Advantage plans have a $0.00 monthly premium and will cost you nothing more than what you are already paying for your Medicare Part B premium. Lastly, they have a “Maximum Out of Pocket,” This gives you a safety net so you do not have to pay the whole 20% that Medicare Part B does not cover.
Now we get to Medicare Supplemental Plans, A, B and D will help to pay for a few things such as your Medicare Part A coinsurance, Part B coinsurance but there are many more benefits that are not covered under these plans. Then there is Plan C,F and G, Plan F and C are no longer available to beneficiaries but some people may have it because they are “grandfathered” into that plan. Plan G is the plan that most people get when looking for a supplement policy. It covers everything except your Medicare Part B deduction which is $233.00 for 2022. The supplement plans have one job to do and that is to pay your 20% for Medicare Part B services that incur. You also have the freedom of being able to see any doctor (as long as they accept Medicare) in any state. Plans K and L are also available, they have a lower premium, but a higher Maximum Out of Pocket. The Out of pocket limit for a K plan is $6,620.00 for 2022 and the L plan has a Maximum out of pocket of $3,310.00 for 2022. Click here to view a Medicare Supplement comparison chart
A Few Reminders:
Most Medicare Advantage Plans do come with a gym membership as well as a small amount of dental and vision coverage. They provide benefits beyond Medicare Parts A and B.
Medicare Supplement Plans do not include Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage, you will need to enroll in a separate Medicare Part D Plan if you do not have creditable drug coverage from another source.
I hope this gives you a new view on how to get through the A,B,C and D’s of of Medicare.