Medicare is made up of four different parts
—A, B, C and D.
Part A: Hospital Insurance
Medicare Part A covers:
- Inpatient hospital care
- Skilled nursing facility care
- Home healthcare
- Hospice care
Most Americans are enrolled automatically in Medicare Part A, although it alone may not cover all of your healthcare costs. Parts B, C and D are voluntary programs that provide additional coverage.
Part B: Medical Insurance*
Medicare Part B covers:
- Outpatient medical services
- Coverage for physician services and routine doctor visits
- Preventive care and services (like flu shots and mammograms)
- Lab work, X-rays and medical supplies
Learn how to sign up
Part C: Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage Plans cover:
- These plans are an “all-in-one” alternative to Original Medicare.
- These “bundled plans” include everything covered in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) and usually Part D (Medicare drug coverage).
- Additional benefits or services like hearing, vision and dental services (depending on the private health plan you choose).
You can’t use and can’t be sold a Medigap policy if you’re in a Medicare Advantage plan.
Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage*
- Original Medicare does not cover most prescription drugs – so Part D covers the cost of prescription drugs.
- Medicare drug coverage is optional and is offered to everyone with Medicare.
- To get Medicare drug coverage, you must join a Medicare-approved plan that offers drug coverage.
- In most cases, this means you can add drug coverage to Original Medicare OR select a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage.
Medigap is Medicare Supplement Insurance that helps fill “gaps” in Original Medicare and is sold by private companies. Original Medicare pays for much, but not all, of the cost for covered healthcare services and supplies. A Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy can help pay some of the remaining healthcare costs, like:
There are several Medigap (Medicare Supplement Insurance) plans, each with different benefits and premiums, so you can choose the plan that works best for your specific need. Keep in mind that Medigap plans do not offer prescription drug coverage.