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Your Guide to Medicare Benefits and Coverage

July 31, 2017

Medicare is health insurance for people 65 or older, younger disabled people, and dialysis patients. In order to get the most from your Medicare plan, it’s important to really understand the advantages of your Medicare benefits and coverage.

The Four Parts of Medicare

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Medicare has four different parts:

Medicare Part A (hospital insurance):

  • Inpatient care in hospitals
  • Skilled nursing facility care
  • Hospice care
  • Home healthcare

Medicare Part B (medical insurance):

  • Services from doctors and other healthcare providers
  • Outpatient care
  • Home healthcare
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Many preventive services

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage):

  • Includes all benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B
  • Usually includes Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) as part of the plan
  • Run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies that follow rules set by Medicare
  • May include extra benefits and services for an extra cost

Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage):

  • Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs
  • Run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies that follow rules set by Medicare
  • May help lower your prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future
How to Access Your Medicare Benefits and Coverage

You first enroll in original Medicare, and if you want prescription drug coverage, you'll need to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D). You may also find you want a Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap) to cover the expenses original Medicare doesn’t pick up.

Your second choice is to join a Medicare Advantage Plan. These plans often include prescription drug coverage.

The more you know about Medicare benefits and coverage, the better prepared you will be to pick the right plans for your healthcare now and in the future.

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Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Independent licensee of the Blue Cross Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross name and symbol are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association.

This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, premiums and/or co-payments/co-insurance may change on January 1 of each year. You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium.

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