Medicare Parts A-B
This is provided by the federal government for U.S. citizens 65 and older or those under 65 who have certain disabilities. Medicare Part A kicks in to cover at least some of the costs of typical hospital bills, which may include a semi-private room, special intensive and coronary care units, lab and diagnostic tests, operating room charges and special treatments like radiation and chemotherapy. Part A coverage does require that the service is medically necessary and must be performed in an inpatient setting. Because Part A coverage has a deductible associated with each hospital stay, seniors should be aware that they may be responsible for a portion of any inpatient treatment bill.
Medicare Part B
is the Medicare program that covers doctor bills and other outpatient costs. Almost everyone who is 65 and older is eligible for Medicare Part B. Although it will pay part of many participants’ doctor bills and other outpatient costs, it leaves some services uncovered and pays only a portion of those services that it does cover. In addition to doctor bills, Part B covers many other types of outpatient care. This includes care at an emergency room or clinic, X-rays, and laboratory work. Ambulance service is also covered in an
Medicare Part C
is a private insurance plan managed by the large federal umbrella of Medicare. It serves as a voluntary replacement for Medicare Parts A and B and provides health care coverage on par with both. The advantage of choosing a Part C plan is cost, with out-of-pocket costs which generally are lower than Medicare Parts A and B. If you enroll in a private Medicare Part C plan, you no longer receive coverage through Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B.
Medicare Part D
is the Medicare prescription drug program and is provided private insurance companies but rules are set by the federal government. Monthly premiums for stand-alone Part D plans, and for Part C Medicare Advantage managed care plans that include drug coverage from around $15 to $75 per month, depending on which plan someone chooses. Part D plans allow doctors to do “drug substitution which a doctor prescribes a drug but the plan covers only its generic form or a different equivalent drug.