Exploring Medicare Benefits and Parts

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Contributor, Benzinga
July 31, 2023

Medicare provides essential healthcare coverage for eligible individuals in the United States. In this post, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview of Medicare benefits, outlining the different parts of the program and the coverage they offer. Read on to gain insight into the valuable healthcare benefits available through Medicare.

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) Benefits

Medicare Part A covers hospital services, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and some home health services. Here are the key benefits of Medicare Part A:

  • Inpatient Hospital Care: Coverage for hospital stays, including semiprivate rooms, meals, nursing services, and necessary hospital supplies.
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Care: Coverage for skilled nursing care and rehabilitation services in a skilled nursing facility following a qualifying hospital stay.
  • Hospice Care: Coverage for palliative care, including pain relief and symptom management, for individuals with a terminal illness.
  • Home Health Services: Coverage for medically necessary skilled nursing care, therapy services, and home health aide services provided in the home.

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) Benefits

Medicare Part B covers doctor's visits, outpatient care, preventive services, and medical supplies. Explore the key benefits of Medicare Part B:

  • Doctor's Visits: Coverage for medically necessary visits to doctors, specialists, and other healthcare professionals.
  • Outpatient Care: Coverage for services such as outpatient surgeries, diagnostic tests, and clinically-administered drugs
  • Preventive Services: Coverage for preventive screenings, vaccinations, counseling, and wellness visits to help detect and prevent illnesses.
  • Medical Supplies: Coverage for durable medical equipment (e.g., wheelchairs, oxygen equipment), prosthetic devices, and certain supplies.

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) Benefits

Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is a private alternative to Original Medicare (Parts A and B) offered by private insurance companies. Here are the key benefits of Medicare Part C:

  • Combined Coverage:
    • Medicare Advantage plans combine the benefits covered under Parts A and B into a single plan.
    • Some plans may also include additional benefits not covered by Medicare Part A and B, such as prescription drug coverage (Part D), dental, vision, and hearing services.
  • Provider Networks:
    • Medicare Advantage plans typically have a network of preferred healthcare providers, offering coordinated care and potentially lower out-of-pocket costs.
  • Maximum Out of Pocket
    • All Medicare Advantage plans have a ‘maximum out of pocket limit’ which is a total limit on out of pocket costs (such as deductibles and copays) that you will pay in a calendar year for Medicare-covered services

Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage) Benefits

Medicare Part D provides coverage for prescription medications that you pick up at a retail pharmacy. Consider the key benefits of Medicare Part D.  You can purchase drug coverage standalone or it can come bundled with a Medicare Advantage plan:

  • Prescription Drug Coverage:
    • Access to a wide range of prescription medications, including both brand-name and generic drugs.
    • Plans have formularies that outline the specific medications covered and associated costs
    • All formularies must include at least 2 drugs in the most commonly prescribed categories and classes.
  • Cost Savings:
    • Medicare Part D helps reduce out-of-pocket expenses on prescription drugs.
    • The coverage can vary across plans, so it's important to compare options based on your specific medication needs.

Medicare Supplement (Medigap)

While technically not a “Part” of Medicare, Medicare Supplement plans provide important coverage to warrant talking about.

  • Medicare Supplement Coverage:
    • Medicare Supplement plans are private insurance plans that you can purchase to help cover the ‘gaps’ or out of pocket costs you owe under Original Medicare (Part A and B).
    • There are 10 standardized plans in most states.  In MassachusettsMinnesota, and Wisconsin, Medigap policies are standardized in a different way. 
  • Eligibility
    • Premiums vary based on age, gender, location 
    • You may be subject to answering health questions in order to be eligible/covered

Learn More About the Various Parts of Medicare Today

Understanding the various parts of Medicare and their associated benefits is crucial to accessing the healthcare coverage you need. Medicare offers comprehensive coverage for hospital services, doctor's visits, prescription drugs, and more. Whether you choose Original Medicare (Parts A and B) or opt for the added benefits of Medicare Advantage (Part C), there are options to suit your specific healthcare needs. Take advantage of the preventive services, inpatient and outpatient care, and prescription drug coverage available through Medicare. For personalized guidance, consult the official Medicare website or speak with a Medicare representative. Embrace the benefits of Medicare and secure your healthcare future today.

Compare Medicare Plans

If you decide not to enroll in Original Medicare, you should begin comparing your Part C policy options as soon as possible. Benzinga offers insights and reviews on the following Medicare Part C policy providers. Consider beginning your search for coverage with the links below. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Is Medicare actually free?


Medicare is not free and does not claim to be. While you’ll enjoy significantly more affordable health insurance when compared to purchasing a plan through a private insurance provider, you will still need to pay a Part B premium, your deductible and your coinsurance percentage. If you purchase a Medicare Advantage or Part D plan, your expenses may vary depending on the provider.


Can I refuse to pay for Medicare?


While it is technically possible to refuse Medicare altogether, it’s not beneficial to do so. Medicare Part A is premium-free for most people, which means that it won’t cost you anything if you don’t use it. If you decline Medicare Part A and Part B altogether, you must also give up your Social Security benefits and repay any benefits that have already been issued to you.