Q:

What do the suffixes for Medicare mean?

A:

Quick Answer

Medicare Part A is traditional Medicare hospital insurance coverage, while Medicare Part B is traditional Medicare medical insurance coverage, explains Medicare.gov. Medicare Part C refers to Medicare Advantage plans offered by private insurance companies, and Medicare Part D refers to Medicare prescription drug coverage plans.

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Full Answer

Medicare Part A covers hospital stays, nursing care, home health services and hospice care, notes Medicare.gov. Most people receive Part A without paying a monthly premium, although they have to pay deductibles and coinsurance during hospital inpatient stays. Medicare Part B covers doctor visits, surgeries, lab tests, preventive services and medically necessary supplies. Everyone has to pay a monthly premium for Part B, and there is also a deductible before Medicare begins to pay for eligible expenses.

Medicare Part C plans must provide all the coverage that traditional Medicare Parts A and B provide, and they also often provide extra coverage such as dental, vision, hearing, and health and wellness programs, according to Medicare.gov. In addition, Medicare Advantage plans usually provide prescription drug coverage. Most Medicare Part C plans charge an extra monthly premium in addition to the Medicare Part B premium as well as out-of-pocket expenses such as copayments and coinsurance. Private insurance companies offer Medicare Part D plans, which provide prescription drug coverage for those enrolled in traditional Medicare as well as Advantage plans that do not include drug coverage. Monthly premiums for Part D vary according to the specific plans and the incomes of the enrollees.

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