Medicare 101: Understanding Medicare Parts A-D

Medicare 101: Understanding Medicare Parts A-D

Medicare is a complicated subject, so if you’re nearing the age where you’ll need it, we want to help you understand how to choose the best plan for you. You’ve probably heard about the different “parts” of Medicare, but what do they really mean? We explain below.

Part A (Hospital Insurance) covers inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing facility stays and hospice care. Part A is offered to all adults over the age of 65 and is a part of Original Medicare, the traditional health care that the government pays for.

Part B (Medical Insurance) covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, mental health care, durable medical supplies and preventive care. Like Part A, Part B is offered to all adults over the age of 65 and is a part of Original Medicare.

If you want more than the above benefits, the following Medicare options might be more suited to you.

Part C is a Medicare policy that allows private health insurance companies, like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network, to provide Medicare benefits. Part C plans cover everything Parts A and B cover, plus more. They usually cover more of the costs you’d otherwise have to pay for out of pocket. Part C plans put a limit on what you pay out of pocket in a given year, too. Some of these plans cover preventive dental, vision and hearing costs whereas Original Medicare doesn’t. Here is a list of the Medicare Advantage plans Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan offers and what they cover.

Part D is an add-on that provides outpatient prescription drug coverage. Part D is provided only through private insurance companies, like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, that have contracts with the government. It is never provided directly by the government (like Parts A and B are). The specific coverage differs by plan but they usually cover commonly used brand-name and generic drugs. Read about prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans that have Part D prescription drug plans built right into them from Blue Care Network and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

The benefit information provided is a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. For more information, contact the plan

Medicare Plus BlueSM, BCN AdvantageSM and Prescription BlueSM are PPO, HMO, HMO-POS and PDP plans with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Medicare Plus Blue, BCN Advantage and Prescription Blue depends on contract renewal. 

  • Y0074_W_15BlgPstMed101 CMS Accepted 10122014

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