Did you know that Medicare coverage is divided into several categories—or parts—to allow you to customize your coverage to your situation? Here’s a quick overview.
Medicare Parts A and B – Original Medicare
Medicare Part A is a Federal program that covers inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and home healthcare. Most people don’t need to pay a Part A monthly premium because they (or their spouse) contributed into Social Security while working.
Medicare Part B is a Federal program that covers doctors’ services and other outpatient care. There is a monthly premium for Part B based on income. The purchase of Part B is optional and there may be a late enrollment penalty if you do not sign up when you are first eligible for Medicare.
It’s important to know what Medicare Parts A and B do NOT cover:
In addition to Original Medicare’s copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles, you will also have to pay for services that are not covered by Original Medicare, including but not limited to:
Medicare Part C – Medicare Advantage
Medicare Part C allows you to get Medicare coverage through a private insurer. Generally, you must use plan providers except in emergency or urgent care situations.
Medicare Advantage plans:
Medicare Part D – Prescription Drug Coverage
Medicare Part D is optional coverage offered by private insurers that includes prescription drugs not
covered under Medicare Parts A or B. There may be a late enrollment penalty if you do not sign up when
you are first eligible for Medicare. There are two ways to get Part D coverage:
Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)
Medicare Supplement plans offer coverage that fills the gaps in Original Medicare (Parts A and B). These Medigap plans, like Medicare Advantage plans, are offered through private insurers. Depending on the policy, Medigap plans cover part or all of the deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance under Original Medicare. They offer the flexibility of being able to go to any Medicare participating provider.
With Medigap plans, you:
Last updated: 10/11/2013
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island depends on contract renewal.