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Medicare Part A
Medicare Part A (Hospital insurance) covers inpatient hospital care, critical access care, short-term care in skilled nursing facilities, hospice and some home health care. Medicare typically does not pay for assisted living facilities, nursing homes or long-term care at home. Part A is free to most Medicare beneficiaries if the beneficiary or their spouse paid Medicare taxes while they were working. If an individual is not eligible to receive Part A free-of-charge then the individual may be eligible to sign up for Part A coverage.
Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers visits to the doctor, outpatient care, some preventative services, as well as some occupational and physical therapy. It may require a monthly premium, which is often based on beneficiary income. It is important to remember that Medicare Part B does not cover 100 percent of services and beneficiaries will be responsible for the balance of expenses not paid for by Medicare.
Medicare Part C
Medicare Advantage Plan covers the same services as Medicare Part A and Part B combined, and may offer prescription drug coverage at an extra cost. Medicare Advantage Plan is offered by private companies that contract with Medicare, which means you can choose your preferred plan whether it is a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), or Private Fee-for-Service.
Medicare Part D
Prescription Drug Coverage
Prescription Drug Coverage is offered through insurance companies that contract with Medicare. For a monthly premium Prescription Drug Coverage gives you access to the necessary medication that you might need.
Medigap plans are sold by insurance companies to cover services for which Medicare does not cover, or only partially covers. This may include co-insurance, co-payments, deductibles and the "gaps" between what Medicare pays and the total expenses.