Medicare & It's Many Parts
Medicare coverage is separated into four different parts named after the letters A-D. Within these four parts, are two main types of Medicare coverage: Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage.
Understanding Medicare Supplement insurance
Parts A & B compose one of the two main types of Medicare coverage: Original Medicare. Original Medicare can be supplemented using Part D insurance or Medicare Supplement insurance.
Part A (Hospital Insurance)
Part B (Medical Insurance)
Medical testing & lab services
Doctor visits & preventative care
Durable medical equipment & supplies
Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is the second type of main coverage. It's provided by private insurance companies and cannot be combined with Medicare Supplement insurance.
Includes all benefits and services covered under Parts A & B
May include Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D)
May include extra benefits like vision, dental and hearing services
Typically requires you to use a healthcare provider within a network
Plans are not guaranteed renewable
Prescription Drug Coverage
Medicare Part D is an add-on plan that provides prescription drug coverage. It's sold by private insurance companies.
Helps cover the cost of outpatient prescription drugs
Can be purchased as a standalone plan if you have Medicare Part A and/or Part B
May help lower your prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future
Provided by private insurance companies
Medicare Supplement continued
Medicare Supplement Insurance
Sometimes referred to as Medigap, Medicare Supplement insurance is an add-on plan that helps pay for costs not covered by Original Medicare. It's sold by private insurance companies and cannot be combined with Medicare Advantage.
Learn more about Medicare Supplement insurance here.
Helps cover out-of-pocket costs not covered by Original Medicare
Must have Parts A & B to purchase
Plans are guaranteed renewable as long as you pay your premiums
Accepted by all healthcare providers that accept Medicare
Enrolling in Medicare
When do I enroll in Medicare?
Your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is seven months long and includes the month you turn 65 as well as the three months before and after.
For example, if your birthday is in April, you may enroll in Medicare for the first time anytime between January and June.
When can I make changes to my coverage?
Every year, usually between October 15 and December 7, there is an annual open enrollment period. During this time, you can drop, switch or add coverage.