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The Basics Of Medicare Plans

What is Medicare?

The federal health insurance program is called Medicare. It is for:

  • Anyone who is 65 years of age or older.
  • Certain younger people who have disabilities.
  • People who have End-Stage Renal Disease. This is permanent kidney failure that requires dialysis or a transplant. It is also sometimes called ESRD.

The different parts of Medicare are broken down (Part A, B, D, etc) because they each cover or offer different specific services:

Medicare Part A – Hospital Insurance

Part A covers:

  • inpatient hospital stays
  • care in a skilled nursing facility
  • hospice care
  • some home health care

Medicare Part B – Medical Insurance

Part B covers:

  • certain doctors’ services
  • outpatient care
  • medical supplies
  • preventive services.

Medicare Part C

Medicare Advantage (also known as Part C) is an “all in one” alternative to Original Medicare. These “bundled” plans include Part A, Part B, and usually Part D.

Medicare Part D – Prescription Drug Coverage

Part D adds prescription drug coverage to:

  • Original Medicare
  • Some Medicare Cost Plans
  • Some Medicare Private-Fee-for-Service Plans
  • Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans

These PART D plans are offered by insurance companies and other private companies approved by Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans may also offer prescription drug coverage that follows the same rules as Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.

Are you unsure about what kind of coverage you have?

  1. Review your red, white, and blue Medicare card.
  2. Check all other insurance cards that you use and call the phone number on the cards to get receive information about the coverage available.
  3. Check your Medicare health or drug plan enrollment paperwork.
  4. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
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