"Supporting Our Seniors"
Senior Care – Medicare Parts Explained
If you have been researching Medicare, you have probably seen the various parts of Medicare: Part A, Part B, and Part D. Each part covers a different piece of your healthcare needs, and each Medicare part generally pays for 80% of the cost of covered services.
Medicare Part A – Hospitalization
Medicare Part A is coverage for your hospital services. Medicare Part A enrollment is required for most retirees because it has no premium. If you enroll in Medicare A alone with no additional coverage, you would be responsible for 20% of the cost in the event of a hospitalization.
Part A also covers hospice care, skilled nursing home care, and skilled home health care.
Medicare Part B – Office Visits
Outpatient doctor visits are covered under Medicare Part B. Part B includes coverage for primary care and specialist visits. It also covers preventive services (mammograms and colonoscopies) and durable medical equipment (walkers or diabetic testing supplies). Medicare Part B requires a monthly premium payment that is usually deducted out of your social security check.
Since Part B is not free, you have the option to decline the coverage. If you decide to decline and then choose to enroll later, you may have to pay higher premiums for the whole time you have Part B.
Medicare Part D – Prescription Drugs
Medicare Part D is prescription coverage. There are different plan options available for Medicare Part D, and the options have different premiums. Part D is administered through private insurance companies.
Additional Medicare Coverage for Senior Care
Seniors wanting more coverage than traditional Medicare offers can purchase additional coverage through either a Medigap plan or Medicare Part C.
Medigap (Medicare Supplements)
Medigap plans work with Medicare Parts A and B to help pay for the 20% of costs Medicare does not cover. Medigap plans are sold from insurance companies, and they are available in standardized plans so that a particular Medigap plan will have the same coverage through any insurance company.
Medigap plans have a monthly premium, and insurance companies can charge different amounts for the same coverage.
Medicare Part C – Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Part C refers to Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage replaces your Medicare A and B coverage with a plan through an insurance company that covers everything traditional Medicare covers.
In addition, Medicare Advantage plans often offer extra benefits, like prescription coverage, dental, vision, and hearing. Medicare Advantage plans may have a monthly premium, but many have no premium.
Before making any decisions, learn as much as you can about the types of coverage available to you. If you need more information, you can:
- Visit the Medicare Plan Finder.
- Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.
- Get personalized counseling about choosing coverage.
Medicare coverage has many different parts and allows for a great deal of customization. Contact the specialist at James G Parker Insurance Associates to help choose the right senior care benefits to meet your needs.