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Medicare Overview

Original Medicare

Original Medicare has two parts — Part A and Part B. Medicare Part A is offered at no cost to most people eligible for Medicare. Medicare Part B is available for a monthly premium to most people eligible for Medicare. Medicare premiums, deductibles and cost-sharing amounts are set by the federal government each fall for the next year.

Part A: Hospital Coverage

Medicare Part A help pays for inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, home health care and hospice care. You pay your deductible and coinsurance.

Part B: Medical Coverage

Medicare Part B covers doctors’ services and tests, outpatient care, durable medical equipment and some medical services and supplies not covered by Medicare Part A. Part B also covers some preventive services.

Part D: Prescription Drug Plans

Medicare works with health plans and other private companies to offer prescription drug coverage. These Medicare-approved plans are called stand-alone Part D plans.

Medicare Supplement (Medigap)

Medigap plans are sold by private health coverage companies. They help pay for some of the health care costs or “gaps” that Medicare Part A and Part B don’t cover. In most cases, you must have both Medicare Part A and Part B to purchase a Medigap policy.

Medicare Advantage Logo

Medicare Advantage

With a Medicare Advantage plan you get Medicare Part A and Part B benefits and some plans may offer extra benefits. Some Medicare Advantage plans also include prescription drug coverage in one plan. Like all Medicare plans, benefits, premiums and co-payments may change from year to year.

How Medicare Works Video

How Medicare Works

Whether you are new to Medicare or want a refresher, this guide will help you understand the costs, benefits and choices offered by the country’s largest health insurance program.

Taking the Mystery out of Medicare



 S6506_091714_K01 CMS Approved 11/10/2014