What’s the Difference Between Medicare Part A,B,C and D?

What’s the Difference Between Medicare Part A,B,C and D?

Oct 23 2014

Feel like you are wading through Medicare alphabet soup?

Not only is there Medicare Part A, B, C and D to consider, but when you throw Medigap into the mix, we’re talking about half the alphabet.

Remember, Medicare eligibility can start when an individual turns 65. And getting the right Medicare coverage is likely an important part of your retirement plan.

Here is a quick guide to keep the Medicare Parts straight:

Remember, Medicare eligibility can start when an individual turns 65.

  • Part A is the first component of the original Medicare coverage offered by the federal government. There is no premium involved in Part A, as long as you paid into the Medicare program through your taxes for at least 10 years. It covers hospital insurance, including hospital care, skilled nursing facility care and some nursing home, hospice and home health care services.
  • Part B is the second component of the Medicare coverage offered by the federal government. Part B is medical insurance that covers things such as lab tests, surgeries and doctor visits. This plan requires a monthly premium paid to the federal government in exchange for these services.

For more information on Medicare Part A and B:

  • Part C is the Medicare Advantage Plan. These plans are offered through insurance companies depending on your county. This coverage is similar to a typical health insurance plan. It has a premium and deductible. Often, it also offers dental, vision and additional benefits not included in Parts A and B.
  • Part D is the Prescription Drug Coverage component of Medicare. These plans add prescription coverage to original Medicare. If you select a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C), the drug coverage is already included.

View this helpful video with additional Medicare information:


Priority Health has HMO-POS and PPO plans with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Priority Health Medicare depends on contract renewal. Y0056_4000_4009_35 CMS-accepted 10282014

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