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Know Your A, B C, D’s: A Comprehensive Guide to the Four Parts of Medicare

Did you know that around 44 million people in the United States are enrolled in the Medicare program? If you are looking into medicare yourself but are overwhelmed by all the choices and the differences, we are here to help. We have broken down the four parts of medicare in the article below:

Keep reading to learn more and help clear up any confusion you might have.

Medicare Part A

Everyone is automatically enrolled in Part A when they apply and are approved for Medicare. With Part A you will be covered when it comes to hospital stays, skilled nursing care that you need for any rehabilitation, and hospice care. You are covered for the first sixty days that you are in the hospital.

Usually, you will not have a premium to pay for Part A because you have more than likely already paid into the system through your taxes taken out of your paychecks during your working years. If you have not paid towards this via your paycheck tax deductions you might qualify to buy into the program by paying a Part A premium.

Even though there is not always a monthly charge, this is not completely free. There is a deductible that you will have to pay every year before Medicare begins to pay.

As of the writing of this post, the deductible in the year 2020 is $1,408. There are some options where you can buy a Medigap policy to help cover that deductible or you can opt to buy a supplemental. It is a good idea to compare best Medigap plans on MedicareWire to have an idea if this would be worth it.

Medicare Part B

Part B Medicare will cover your ambulance transportation, lab tests, doctor visits, medical equipment, and diagnostic screenings. With Medicare Part B you will have a lot more costs. For this reason, if you are still working and you have insurance through your job you might want to defer Part B.

Keep in mind that if you do not sign up for Part B and you do not have any other insurance when you enroll in Medicare, you will probably have a higher monthly premium while you are in the program.

Currently in 2020, as of the writing of this post, the monthly premium for Part B is $144.60. If your income exceeds $87,000 per year, you might have a higher premium to pay.

There is also a deductible that you will have to pay before Medicare Part B begins to pay for your services. Right now the annual deductible is $198. When you visit the doctor or have other outpatient services, you will have to pay 20% of the bill each time. For those that are collecting Social Security, this monthly premium will be deducted each month.

Medicare Part C

Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage. This is a private alternative to the Original Medicare run by the Federal Government. With Advantage, multiple parts of the Medicare program were combined into one plan.

Keep in mind that even if you enroll in Medicare Advantage you will still have to enroll in Parts A and B, plus pay the Part B premium. Part C will be in addition to Parts A and B, where you will be able to sign up with a private insurer.

You will have to make sure that the plan you choose covers everything that Original Medicare covers. Recently the Centers for Medicare have allowed Medicare Advantage plans to cover extras like shower grips for the home, wheelchair ramps, meal delivery, and transportation to doctor’s visits.

If you want to also have your prescriptions covered, look for a Medicare Advantage plan that also has this as part of their coverage. All the plans will vary so make sure to do your homework when you are making your final decision on your provider.

With Medicare Advantage plans you will usually have to choose from either an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) or a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization). With a PPO you will have networks of doctors that you can choose from and facilities to choose from as well. With an HMO you normally have to choose a primary care doctor whom you will always see.

Medicare Part D

This part of Medicare you will have to buy through a private insurer. With Part D, Medicare will help pay for some of your prescription drugs. You will usually have a premium to pay and either a percentage of the prescription cost or a flat copay for each medication you have filled. With some providers, you will also have an annual deductible to pay.

It is good to understand that when your total drug costs reach a certain amount, you become responsible for 25% of the price of your prescription for the rest of the year. As of the writing of this post, the max amount is $4,020.

Make sure that you check whether or not the plan you are considering covers the medicines that you need to take.

Now You Are In the Know About the Four Parts of Medicare

We hope that after reading the article above you are now feeling more informed about the four parts of Medicare. Having this new armed knowledge, you can make informed decisions on whether or not to apply for certain Medicare parts, with confidence.

Did our blog post help you out today? Please browse around the rest of this section for some more informative and helpful reads.

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Written by George K.

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