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  • Writer's pictureBrad Gunning

What is Medicare?

Updated: May 22, 2019

Medicare card

If you're on this site you're probably interested in Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap). Maybe you're trying to decide between a Medicare Advantage plan and Original Medicare supplemented by Medigap. These decisions alone can be confusing, so it makes sense to start with the first building block:

What is Medicare?

Medicare is health insurance. Specifically, it's health insurance for people age 65 or older. There are four different "parts" to Medicare, which we'll break down below.

What are the different "parts" of Medicare?

Medicare has four parts: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. The names alone don't give us any idea what each part entails, so let's look more closely at each Medicare part.

What is Medicare Part A?

Medicare Part A is Medicare's version of hospital insurance. It covers inpatient care in hospitals. It also covers skilled nursing facility, hospice, and home health care.

What is Medicare Part B?

Medicare Part B helps cover medical insurance. Part B includes coverage for services from doctors and other health care providers, hospital outpatient care, durable medical equipment, and home health care. Preventative services to help maintain your health and to keep certain illnesses from getting worse are also covered by Medicare Part B.

What is Medicare Part C?

Medicare Part C is otherwise known as Medicare Advantage. It includes all benefits and services covered under Medicare Parts A and B. Medicare Part C is run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies, not the government. Medicare Part C usually includes Part D, which we'll discuss below. There's the potential for additional benefits, such as dental and vision, under Part C, but these benefits come with extra costs.

What is Medicare Part D?

Medicare Part D is Medicare's prescription drug coverage. Part D helps cover the cost of outpatient prescription drugs. As stated above, it is often coupled with Medicare Advantage, but it can be purchased as a stand-alone benefit for those who opted for a Medigap plan. Either way, Medicare Part D is run by private insurance companies approved by Medicare.

If you're interested in learning more about Medicare, or would like help choosing between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement Insurance, don't hesitate to give us a call or email. We're happy to help.

We can also provide you with free Medigap, Medicare Advantage, or Prescription Drug quotes at no obligation.

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