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What is (Original) Medicare?
(Original) Medicare is a federally funded program that went into effect in 1965. It is primarily for people 65 and older, but others, that are younger, with certain disabilities may also be eligible.
What is Part A Medicare?
Part A Medicare among other things helps cover inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing costs, and is free for most people.
What is Part B Medicare?
Part B Medicare among other things helps cover doctor’s expenses and preventive services. For most people (in 2019) has a premium of $135.50/month.
What is Part C Medicare?
Part C Medicare Advantage plans cover all Part A, Part B, and usually Part D benefits. It is administered by private companies contracted with Medicare. Must have Part A and Part B to have Part C.
What is Part D Medicare?
Part D Medicare helps cover the cost of prescription drugs and is administered by private companies contracted with Medicare. Must have Part A and/or Part B to have Part D.
A Medicare Supplement, also known as Medigap policy, is a plan which covers costs not covered by (Original) Medicare. Medicare Supplements (Medigap policies) are sold by private companies. In other words, Original Medicare pays first and a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) pays second. Medicare Supplements do not cover prescriptions. You may have a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Supplement – not both.
Medicare Advantage Plan
A Medicare Advantage plan is responsible for covering Medicare Part A and Part B benefits and services. Claims are paid by the Medicare Advantage plan (private company) rather than by Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans may cover prescription drugs.
Medicare Doesn't Cover
Medicare doesn’t cover the first $1,346.00 of hospital expenses, the first 3 pints of blood, Part B deductible which is $185/year (2019); Medicare pays 80% of assignment and you pay the balance. There is no cap on co-pays if you just have (Original) Medicare. The biggest co-pay expenses could be extended stays in nursing homes, radiation, and chemo treatments for cancer. (Original) Medicare does not have prescription drug coverage.