Senior citizens can easily become confused when first introduced to Medicare. With so much talk about Medicare Parts and Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans, it is easy to become frustrated when the time comes to enroll and make the appropriate choices. The most important fact to know is that Medicare has 4 Parts. Each Part is designated by a letter A-D.
Medicare Part A, the First of the 4 Parts of Medicare
Medicare Part A is an automatic enrollment when an individual turns 65. Medicare Part A covers necessary hospital expenses. The benefits include the costs of hospitalization and the services one receives while a hospital in-patient, including medical treatment by physicians and medications. Medicare Part A may not cover 100% of the costs.
Medicare Part B, the Second of the 4 Parts of Medicare
Medicare Part B is an optional enrollment Part that covers visits to the doctor as an out-patient. If a patient has been hospitalized and requires follow-up visits to his doctor's office Medicare Part B is the Part that will help cover those out-patient services.
Medicare Part C, the Third Part of the 4 Parts of Medicare
Medicare Part C, known as Medicare Advantage Plan, covers everything that Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B cover and as such replaces those Parts. Medicare Part C is optional and requires that the individual pay a monthly premium. If an individual opts for Medicare Part C, Medicare will pay to the Medicare Advantage Plan a fixed amount each month and the individual will pay the remaining premiums. Most Medicare Advantage Plans include extra benefits not provided by Parts A and B.
Medicare Part D, the Fourth Part of the 4 Parts of Medicare
Medicare Part D is optional. Those who enroll in Medicare Part D must pay a premium. Part D covers prescription drugs.