Medicare is a federal health insurance program. It is available to people 65 and older, people under 65 with certain disabilities and people with end-stage renal disease. When you are ready to decide on a plan, take the time to understand how the plans work. That way, you can make an informed decision and choose the plan that is right for you.
Different Parts of Medicare Cover Different Services
The parts of Medicare are:
Part A - Hospital Coverage
- Helps cover inpatient hospital care.
- Helps cover care in a skilled nursing facility or hospice.
- Also helps cover home health care.
Part B - Medical Coverage
- Helps cover doctor and outpatient services.
- Helps cover preventive services to maintain health or keep illnesses from getting worse.
- Those who have Part B coverage pay a monthly premium directly to the government unless Medicaid or a third party pays it.
Part C - Medicare Advantage
- An alternative to the Original Medicare insurance program and administered by the federal government, Part C gives you the option to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan offered by companies such as WellCare.
- Part C plans cover the same services as Part A and Part B, but may also offer additional benefits not covered by Original Medicare.
- Members of Medicare Advantage plans must continue to pay their Part B premium.
Part D - Prescription Drug Coverage
- Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs.
- Offered by companies like WellCare (may require a monthly premium).
- May be a stand-alone Prescription Drug plan, or may be included with a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C).
When It Comes to Coverage, You Have Options:
- You can get health services through Original Medicare and select a Prescription Drug plan, like one of WellCare's Prescription Drug Plans.
- You can get your health services and prescription drug coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan that offers both, such as the WellCare Medicare Advantage plan.
- You can purchase a Medicare Supplement plan from an insurance company to cover the gaps in Original Medicare. If your Medicare Supplement plan does not cover prescription drugs, you can also enroll in a Prescription Drug plan.
For definitions of the variety of medical terms used, view our glossary.