Of the four parts of Medicare, each provides a different type of coverage:
- Part A (hospital insurance) helps pay for the costs of inpatient stays in hospitals and short-term skilled nursing facilities, home health services and hospice care.
- Part B (medical insurance) helps pay for doctors’ services (including those in the hospital), outpatient care, preventive care, and some medical equipment and supplies.
- Part C (Medicare Advantage) is an alternative coverage option to original Medicare that allows you to receive all of your Medicare benefits through one plan. Medicare Advantage plans (typically HMOs or PPOs) must cover all of Part A and Part B services, and most plans include Part D prescription drug coverage in their benefit packages. Some plans provide extra services that original Medicare doesn’t cover.
- Part D helps cover the cost of outpatient prescription drugs.