Weekend Reading: What You Must Know About the Different Parts of Medicare

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
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Weekend Reading

Open enrollment for Medicare begins today, and whether you’re a first-time enrollee, or simply want to ensure you’re maximizing coverage, it’s important to understand the benefits provided through each part. They are as follows:


📌Part A: Covers in-patient hospital and nursing facility care, in addition to hospice and some home health care. The Part A premium is free if you paid Medicare payroll taxes for at least 40 quarters.

📌Part B: Covers doctor visits, outpatient care and some home health care as well. Once the deductible for coverage is met, you pay 20 percent of expenses unless you have Medicare Advantage or supplemental coverage.

📌Part C: Also referred to as “Medicare Advantage”, Part C includes prescription drug coverage, and beneficiaries receive coverage for Parts A and B through private insurers.

📌Part D: Consists of standalone prescription drug coverage through private insurers (If you have an Advantage plan that includes prescription drugs, you don’t need to utilize this).

📌Medigap: Also referred to as “supplemental coverage”, this private insurance is utilized to supplement original Medicare coverage, and the plans cover part or most of the cost sharing (coinsurance and co-payments), for Parts A and B.

Above all, don’t stress: Medicare isn’t as complex as you might think. Once you understand the basics, it largely comes down to the best rate.