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Understanding Medicare: Parts A through D

SelectQuote can help you better understand the differences between Medicare Part A through D

Medicare and its many parts can be confusing and overwhelming. The four main parts of Medicare include:

This article will dive further into each letter to help you better understand what it covers and how it can be beneficial to you. 

Medicare Part A

The U.S. Congress enacted Medicare in 1965 because many Americans of retirement age found it nearly impossible to get medical insurance. Medicare Part A is the oldest product in the Medicare program and is a benefit every U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident (residing for at least five continuous years) is entitled to if they meet Medicare Eligibility requirements. Part A helps cover most inpatient hospital needs, skilled nursing home care, and home health and hospice care. There is a monthly premium for Part A, but many people qualify for premium-free Part A.*

Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B covers routine doctor visits, including specialists to treat medical conditions. It also covers preventative services such as the flu shot or detection of an illness at an early stage where treatment is likely to work. 

Medicare Part A and Part B make up Original Medicare, which only covers about 80% of medical expenses. Medicare Advantage Plans, Prescription Drug Plans and Medicare Supplement Plans can often help fill the gaps to limit your out of pocket costs.  

Medicare Part C

Medicare Part C—also known as Medicare Advantage Plans—are plans offered through private insurance companies approved by Medicare. These plans are legally required to offer at least the same benefits as Original Medicare, but often include additional benefits such as vision, dental, prescription drug coverage or wellness programs. Medicare Advantage Plans often provide more flexibility while ensuring you have the coverage that you need. 

Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D provides Medicare beneficiaries access to prescription drugs at more affordable prices. Medicare Prescription Drug Plans are available to all Medicare beneficiaries and can be purchased as a standalone plan to supplement Original Medicare or to accompany a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan. It should be noted that many Medicare Advantage Plans also offer prescription drug coverage.   

Find the Right Medicare Coverage for You with SelectQuote

To ensure you are covered in case of emergencies, preventive care or even for everyday events related to your quality of life, it pays to understand what the individual parts of Medicare cover, how they differ, and how you can benefit from finding the right coverage for you. In just minutes, we can compare the options available to you and answer any questions you might have. The service is free and there’s no obligation to enroll.

*This is not a complete listing of plans available in your service area. For a complete listing please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048 ), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov.

SelectQuote is a licensed and certified representative of a Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO and PFFS organization and a stand-alone prescription drug plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any plan depends on contract renewal.

SelectQuote complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

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