Medicare is a federal government health insurance program, designed to provide health insurance for Americans and legal U.S. residents over the age of 65. It also covers individuals under the age of 65 with certain qualifying disabilities or medical conditions.
Medicare includes four parts: A, B, C, and D. Here’s a quick explanation of each.
Original Medicare, including Part A (hospital/inpatient insurance) and Part B (medical/doctor/outpatient insurance), is administered by the federal government through the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Medicare Part C, commonly known as Medicare Advantage, is only available from private insurance companies, like Anthem. Medicare Advantage plans, a.k.a. “all-in-one" plans, cover Original Medicare‡ Parts A and B, and much more. They typically include Part D prescription drug coverage, as well as dental, vision, hearing, and more.
Medicare Part D covers the costs of prescription drugs. These plans are also only available from private insurance companies and can be purchased as stand-alone coverage or as part of a Medicare Advantage plan.