Medicare is divided into four Parts called A through D, and each part covers distinct parts of a patient's health care, states WebMD. Medicare Part A covers the costs associated with admission to a medical facility such as a hospital or hospice, while Part B covers 80 percent of the costs associated with doctor's visits, ordered lab tests and screenings, and some medical supplies.
Patients may purchase a Part C insurance plan called a Medicare Advantage plan to pay for the services Medicare covers, and possibly others, explains WebMD. Medicare Part D is the prescription drug program. Some Medicare Advantage plans provide both Part C and Part D coverage for a combined premium.
Patients can use the Medicare.gov website to search for specific tests, services and procedures, to determine if they are covered by Medicare. While Medicare covers many services, some items are specifically excluded from coverage, such as hearing and dental care, states AARP.
For most people who worked for at least 10 years in their lifetimes, Medicare Part A is free. As of 2015, recipients pay a premium between $104.90 and $335.70 per month for Part B coverage, according to WebMD. Medicare premiums are not dependent upon health history, and Medicare recipients are guaranteed coverage, states AARP. Only people over the age of 65 or people with disabilities are Medicare-eligible.