Medicare Part A – Your Hospital Insurance. It’s free for everyone who is eligible for Medicare.
Medicare Part B – Your Medical Insurance (doctor, preventive and outpatient services).
There is a monthly premium for Part B. For 2018, the standard premium is $134. Your Part B premium may be higher based upon your modified adjusted gross income. Your premium is either withheld from your monthly social security payment or paid by you directly to Medicare.
Medicare Part D – Your Prescription Drug Coverage.
It’s available to everyone on Medicare, but there is a separate monthly premium for this coverage paid directly to the insurance company providing the coverage. Your premium is withheld from your monthly social security check or paid by you directly to the insurance company.
As with All Insurance You Pay Annual Deductibles and Copayments
Medicare Supplement plans are designed to pay the deductibles and copayments of Medicare Parts A & B. In California, there are 10 plans (A through N) available for purchase. These plans are offered by participating insurance companies.
The reason that you would purchase a separate Medigap policy is that, depending on the plan selected, it would pay all or part of the following:
Medicare Part C or Medicare Advantage plans are health plans offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, the plan provides all your Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage.
Most Medicare Advantage Plans offer Part D drug coverage and may offer extra coverage, such as vision, hearing, dental, and/or health and wellness programs.
Medicare Advantage Plans must follow rules set by Medicare. However, each plan can charge different out-of-pocket costs and have different rules for how you get services (such as whether you need a referral to see a specialist or if you have to go to only doctors, facilities, or suppliers that belong to the plan).
Most Plans are structured as HMO’s; however, there are also PPO’s, private fee for services plans, and several Special Needs Plans available.