Medicare Part A
Once a person turns 65, they are automatically eligible for Medicare Part A. The main requirement is that they are receiving Social Security retirement benefits. Medicare Part A is considered hospital insurance as it covers the following items:
- Inpatient hospital care
- Finite home health services
- A skilled nursing facility care
- Hospice care (Source)
Medicare Part B
Also known as medical insurance, Medicare Part B is the second part of Original Medicare. Individuals are typically automatically enrolled in this plan at the same time they receive Medicare Part A. It provides coverage for any healthcare services and supplies that are vital to treating your health condition. Medicare Part B coverage includes the following:
- Outpatient care
- Medical equipment
- Preventive services
- Ambulatory services (Source)
Eligibility for Medicare Part A and Part B
Eligibility requirements for Medicare Part and Part B are quite similar with a few differences.
- Must be 65 years or older and a U.S. citizen for at least five years consecutively*
- Are receiving social security retirement benefits
- Are disabled and getting disability benefits
- Are diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
- Are diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) (Source)
*Only eligibility requirement for Medicare Part B.*
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D is a form of prescription drug coverage for Original Medicare beneficiaries. Unlike Medicare Part A and Part B, Medicare Part D is an optional benefit for plan members to obtain. This plan will help cover the cost of generic and brand-name prescription drugs. To get prescription drug coverage, you must enroll in one of the following plans:
- “Stand-alone” plan (PDP) – This plan only offers drug coverage. This plan is appealing to those looking for a way to get their health benefits through the traditional Medicare fee-for-service program.
- Medicare Advantage plan (MA-PD) – This plan will cover both medical services and prescription drugs. Beneficiaries choosing this plan prefer to receive their Medicare benefits in one package. (Source)
With Medicare Part A, most beneficiaries will not have to pay a monthly premium. If you do have to purchase Part A, you’ll be paying up to $458 per month (as of 2020).
Unlike Medicare Part A, with Medicare Part B you’ll have to pay a premium to enroll. In 2020, Medicare Part B premiums are now at $144.60 a month.
For Medicare Part D, there is not a single monthly premium. The drug plan you choose will have its set premium for each year. With a Medicare Advantage plan, some plans will not charge extra for prescription drug coverage.
Understanding what type of healthcare coverage you have as a Medicare recipient can be tricky at times. You must know what parts of Medicare you have and what services and supplies you’ll receive when you see a healthcare provider.