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ABCs (and Ds) of Medicare

GoHealth
By GoHealth October 21, 2016

When you’re searching for a Medicare plan, do you know which plan types have multiple names? Do you know the difference between them? If not, don’t worry: You’re not alone.

From previous blog posts, you probably know there are different options when it comes to your Medicare coverage, but now it’s time to understand which names correspond to which coverage.

ABCs (and Ds) of Medicare

Let’s go through the ABCs (and Ds) of Medicare coverage.


Part A

This type of Medicare coverage is one of two parts of Original Medicare. It covers different hospital services and procedures, including inpatient stays, skilled nursing facility stays, home care, and hospice care. Once you turn 65, you are automatically enrolled in Part A.

Part B

The other part of Original Medicare? That’s Part B. You must actively enroll in this part of Original Medicare by calling Social Security. Part B covers other medical needs, like doctor visits, outpatient services, and preventive care.

Part C

When shopping for private Medicare insurance, you may hear Medicare Advantage, which is also known as Part C. All Part C plans are required to cover all benefits from Parts A & B, plus other benefits, like prescription drug coverage. In 2015, 31% of all Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Part C.

Part D

If you’re searching for a Prescription Drug plan, you’re also searching for Part D: They are one and the same. Part D plans help pay for prescription drug costs, and you have multiple plan options to choose from depending on which drugs you take.

Plus one “S”

Further down the ABCs is the letter “S,” which stands for Supplemental Insurance. This type of Medicare coverage, which is also known as Medigap, is sold by private insurance companies that helps fill in any gaps in your coverage. Medigap policies typically help cover deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.

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