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Different Parts of Medicare Insurance

Medicare is a national health insurance program that offers coverage for certain health care expenses. Most U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents are eligible for Medicare if they are age 65 or older or younger than age 65 with a qualifying disability or illness.

The Medicare insurance program is composed of a variety of government and private insurances that cover specific services. The different components of the Medicare insurance program include:

  • Medicare Part A is government-supplied hospital insurance covering certain inpatient services in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospice, and home health care.
  • Medicare Part B is government-supplied medical insurance covering outpatient health care services, such as doctor visits, durable medical equipment, and certain preventative services.
  • Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage (MA), deliver Part A and Part B benefits through a private health insurance plan approved by Medicare. These plans may include additional coverage, including prescription drug coverage, dental coverage, or health and wellness programs.
  • Medicare Part D plans, also known as Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs), are stand-alone drug plans that offer coverage for medication costs. Like Medicare Advantage plans, stand-alone Medicare Part D plans are offered by private insurance companies.
  • Medicare Supplement, also known as Medigap, plans are private insurance plans that are not subsidized by the government and offer coverage for out-of-pocket costs not covered by Part A and Part B through ten standardized plan options in most states (except Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). See our Medicare Supplement benefits chart of the ten standardized insurance plans to review what is covered by each plan.