Know The A, B, C, And Ds of Medicare Coverage
Medicare Part A covers hospital stays and most inpatient services. At 65, you may feel healthy enough to not worry about such coverage. But Part A is important in case you have an unexpected injury or sudden illness that requires inpatient care.
Medicare Part B includes doctor visits, medical tests, X-rays, medical supplies, and preventive care. Part B is your coverage for when you're sick and need to go to the doctor and healthcare visits that help you stay healthy.
A note about Medicare Part A and Part B:
If you've heard the term "Original Medicare," that means Parts A and B. Many people find they need more coverage than offered by Original Medicare. For example, you'll likely need prescription drug coverage and might want routine, dental, vision, and hearing benefits as well. This is where Medicare Parts C and D come in.
Medicare Part C (also called a Medicare Advantage plan) is an all-in-one plan that provides Parts A and B coverage, and often includes prescription drug (Part D) coverage. Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans can also include dental, vision, and hearing benefits as well as allowances for over-the-counter health items, groceries, fitness memberships and even utilities.
Medicare Part D (also called a Prescription Drug plan) covers prescription drugs. It is especially important if you regularly take prescription medications.
Medicare Parts C and D are only available from private insurance companies like Anthem.
You must have Part A and Part B to enroll in a Part C plan. You must have Part A and/or Part B to enroll in a Part D plan.
If you don't sign up for Part A, Part B and Part D, when you're first eligible you might have to pay late enrollment penalties, which are added to your monthly premiums for as long as you participate in the plan.