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Medicare Enrollment: Know Your ABC's and D's

Medicare seems so simple with its ABCD format, yet Medicare also confuses seniors with its numerous options, supplemental plans and yearly enrollment periods. As with many things, the more you know about Medicare, the easier it becomes to make smarter choices.

The ABCs and Ds of Medicare

Medicare has four parts: A, B, C, and D. Each part represents a specific type of coverage:

  • Medicare Part A: Hospital coverage that primarily covers in-patient hospitalization, hospice care and care in a skilled nursing facility.
  • Medicare Part B: Medical coverage that primarily covers doctors’ visits, lab tests, preventive services, outpatient care, and medical supplies. Part B is voluntary coverage subject to a standard monthly premium for most people and an annual deductible.
  • Medicare Part C: Medicare Advantage plans are private insurance plans that contract with Medicare to provide Part A and Part B benefits to enrollees.
  • Medicare Part D: Prescription drug coverage for people on Medicare. Medicare Prescription Drug Programs, or PDPs, add drug coverage to Original Medicare. Part D coverage can also be purchased as part of a Medicare Advantage plan.

Whether you’re approaching age 65 or have already reached it, Medicare and its various options and supplements will be an important part of your well-being.


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