Medicare Part A hospital insurance covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, nursing home care, home health services and home hospice care. Medicare Part B medical insurance covers doctor visits, surgery, lab tests, preventive services and needed medical equipment. Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs.
Patients with Medicare Part A are covered during hospital stays for semi-private rooms, general nursing, drugs needed during inpatient treatment, meals, and other supplies and services needed during a hospital stay. In a skilled nursing facility, Medicare Part A also covers physical therapy, occupational therapy, dietary counseling, speech-language therapy and medical social services. Medicare Part A covers medically necessary nursing home care but not merely custodial care. Home health services include medically necessary part-time services and therapy for the home-bound. Home hospice care covers a medical team, medical services, therapy, equipment and drugs for those expected to live six months or less.
Medicare Part B is outpatient coverage to prevent, diagnose and treat medical conditions. It includes ambulance services, participation in certain clinical research studies, mental health treatment, preventive drugs such as flu shots and limited drugs administered in hospital outpatient situations. Covered durable medical equipment includes such items as canes, crutches, hospital beds, wheelchairs and walkers. It also covers blood sugar monitors, oxygen equipment, sleep apnea devices and suction pumps.