Medicare 101

What do Medicare Parts A, B, C, D cover?

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Part A covers hospitalization. This includes care you receive at hospitals, nursing facilities, and depending on the situation, at home. Services that may be included at your home include physical therapy and occupational therapy, among others.

Part B covers your medical. This includes preventative services (like flu and hepatitis B shots), outpatient care, and medical supplies required to treat or diagnose your medical condition. Parts A and B together are called Original Medicare and will only cover 80% of your medical costs with an annual hospital deductible of $1,340 (at time of writing in 2018).

If you choose a Medicare Advantage HMO plan (Click here to learn about HMO vs non-HMO plans), you will have Part C instead of Original Medicare (Parts A+B). These Medicare Advantage Plans are approved by Medicare and offered by private insurance companies. They provide coverage for all the services of Medicare Parts A+B and typically provide additional coverage, such as dental, vision, and hearing.

Part D covers prescription drugs and is included in most Medicare Advantage HMO plans. Part D is voluntary, so if your current drug coverage is better than Medicare’s, you don’t need to sign up.

Our take: With Original Medicare (just Parts A+B), you are exposed to an uncapped 20% of your medical costs leaving you with SIGNIFICANT financial risk if something unexpected happens, which is why we recommend you supplement it with either a Medicare Supplement Plan or a Medicare Advantage plan.

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