Understand the Four Parts of Medicare
Medicare has four main “parts” that cover different types of health benefits. These are known as Medicare Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D.
“Original Medicare” refers to Medicare Part A and Part B.
Part A Helps Cover Hospital Care
- Inpatient hospitalization
- Care in skilled nursing facilities
- Hospice care
- Some medically necessary home health care
Medicare Part A usually has no monthly premium. You may still have to pay out-of-pocket costs for some services, including a deductible. Most people who have been employed automatically get Part A. Find out if you’re eligible for Part A on the federal government’s Medicare site (Medicare.gov)
Part B Helps Cover Doctor Visits
- Visits to a doctor’s office
- Durable medical equipment
- Outpatient care
You may have to pay a percentage of the cost for some health care services in addition to your yearly deductible. You usually pay a monthly premium, based on your income. Medicare typically deducts this premium directly from your Social Security check. Learn more about Medicare costs.
If you will continue receiving coverage through your employer past age 65, you may decide you don’t want to take Part B right away. If your employer has more than 20 employees, you can enroll in Part B later without paying a late penalty. Explore your options.
Part C is a Medicare Advantage Plan
You may find that Original Medicare doesn’t cover everything you want or need. If that’s the case, a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) may be right for you. Part C includes the benefits of Part A and Part B but can also offer added benefits, such as dental and vision coverage.
You must have Part A and Part B to enroll in Part C. See if you’re eligible for a Medicare Advantage plan. You’ll usually pay a monthly premium to the health insurance company for your Part C plan. You’ll also continue to pay your Part B premium, which Medicare deducts from your Social Security check each month.
MVP and other private health insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans. Some of these plans include Part D prescription coverage. Explore our plans.
Watch the video below to learn more about our 2023 Medicare Advantage plans.
Part D Helps Cover Prescription Drugs
Part D is prescription drug coverage that includes many common brand-name and generic drugs. Original Medicare doesn’t include any coverage for prescription drugs. You must have Part A and Part B to be eligible for Part D.
There are two ways you can get Medicare Part D:
- Enroll in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan that includes Part D coverage
- Enroll in a stand-alone Part D plan
Part D plans are available only through private companies.
There typically is a monthly premium, based on your income, for Part D coverage. Based on your income, you may pay a Part D surcharge to Medicare that is deducted from your Social Security check. If you’re low-income, or if you have both Medicare and Medicaid, you may qualify for help with your prescription drug coverage costs.
Please note: If you don’t enroll in Part D when you first become eligible, or if you don’t have coverage as good as Medicare’s, you may have to pay a penalty if you join later. Get details on the late-enrollment penalty from Medicare.gov.
Learn more about our Part D prescription drug coverage, or watch the video below to find out more about Part D coverage.
One Medicare Advantage Plan at a Time
Medicare allows you to be a member of only one Medicare Advantage plan at a time. If you join a Medicare Advantage plan and later choose a Part D drug plan from another insurance or pharmacy company, Medicare will:
- Enroll you in the new drug plan for your Part D drug coverage
- Automatically disenroll you out of your current Medicare Advantage plan
- Allow you to keep Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) for your medical coverage for the remainder of the year, along with the other drug plan you chose.
Y0051_8263_M | Last Updated: 4/13/2023
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