What are the Different Parts of Medicare - Medicare Parts Explained

This handy chart lets you see your options, costs, benefits and more.

Plan type

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Medicare Advantage

Private healthcare

Includes the same Part A and Part B benefits as Original Medicare, but many plans offer additional benefits
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Original Medicare

Federally funded healthcare

You’re eligible when you turn 65. Some people under 65 are eligible due to certain disabilities
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Medicare Supplement

Private healthcare

Also known as Medigap, this helps cover some of the costs not included in your Original Medicare coverage
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Prescription Drug Plan

Private drugs coverage

Helps you lower the cost of your prescription drugs. Available with Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage

Typical monthly cost

From $0 per month If you receive premium-free Part A, your Part B premium will be $144.60 per month, or higher based on income From $68 to $400 per month, Monthly premiums vary based on the comprehensive plan Average monthly premium in 2019 is $24

Out-of-pocket costs

You pay a deductible, coinsurance and copays, the amount you pay varies by plan After you've paid your yearly deductible, you typically pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount Helps cover some of the costs not included in your Original Medicare coverage, like deductibles, copayments and coinsurance You pay a deductible, coinsurance and copays, the amount you pay varies by plan

Limited and unlimited costs

Annual out-of-pocket costs are limited - the amount varies by plan There is no dollar limit on your out-of-pocket costs Some plans have annual out-of-pocket limits Costs are not fully limited. When you reach your catastrophic limit, you pay a percentage of the costs

Accessing doctors

You’re often restricted to doctors and hospitals in the plan’s network with limited exceptions You can visit any doctor or healthcare provider that accepts Medicare You can visit any doctor or healthcare provider that accepts Medicare Not applicable

Prescription drugs

Most plans include some prescription drug coverage Prescription drugs are generally not included Not included. You would need to enroll in a separate, stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan Helps you manage the cost of your prescription drugs. Available with Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage

Specialist referrals

You may need a referral to see a specialist. You'll pay more to see one outside of the provider's network. No need for referrals: you can see any specialist that accepts Medicare You can see any specialist that accepts Medicare Not applicable

Travel

Generally you are covered in the plan’s service with limited exceptions You are covered in any state as long as you visit a provider that accepts Medicare Covered in any state and some plans will cover you for foreign travel emergency (up to plan limits) Not applicable

Additional benefits

Most plans include dental, hearing and vision No additional benefits Not applicable Not applicable

Penalties

There are no penalties with a Medicare Advantage plan, but you must sign up to Original Medicare Part B when you first become eligible. There can be penalties if you don’t sign up when you’re first eligible You may be charged more or have coverage turned down if you didn't buy a plan when you first become eligible You'll have to pay a late enrollment penalty if you don't enroll when you first become eligible

Good to know

You need to enroll in Original Medicare before you can enroll in Medicare Advantage Includes Part A (hospital) and Part B (medical), you need to enroll in Original Medicare to access any other option There are 10 standardized plan types available in most states. Each plan type provides a different level of coverage This coverage is also called Medicare Part D, and can be paired with Original Medicare and is usually included as part of a Medicare Advantage plan

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