There are 4 parts to Medicare.
Part A: Hospital Coverage, this includes Inpatient care in a hospital, skilled nursing facility care, nursing home care (inpatient care in a skilled nursing facility that’s not custodial or long-term care), hospice care, and home health care.
Part B: Medical Coverage which covers medically necessary services and preventive services like chemotherapy, durable medical equipment (DME), and ambulance services.
This is what is considered “Original Medicare” or “Traditional Medicare,” it was signed into law on July 30, 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, and was meant to be a safety net.
Seniors during that time period did not have life expectancies that exceed 73 years old, so the government was overwhelmed when citizens started out living these benefits, and the government had to add Part C and D.
Part C: Medicare Advantage, started in 1999, this option allowed private insurance companies to offer combined coverage that met the government’s requirements for credible coverage, this includes: medical coverage, prescription coverage, and additional benefits like dental, vision, hearing, over-the-counter allowances, transportation, and much more.
These Part C Medicare Advantage plans can either be an HMO or a PPO.
Part D: Prescription coverage, started in 2006, allows Medicare beneficiaries the ability to purchase outpatient (not administered by a medical professional) drugs at retail locations.
If you have a Medicare Supplement plan, Part D coverage is required as a separate plan.
If you have a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plan, your Part D coverage is included as an all in one package plan.