The Four Parts of Medicare

Medicare is a program in the United States that assists those who are age 65 and above with their health care costs. Other condition besides age may allow a person to qualify for Medicare services. These include Lou Gehrig's disease, kidney failure, and other disabilities. Medicare is intended to assist with health care costs; however, usually does not cover these costs in full. Financing for Medicare comes from payroll taxes paid by employers and workers. In addition, Social Security check premiums also help finance Medicare.

The Four Parts of Medicare

Part A: Part A Medicare is hospital insurance that is generally used when a patient has to stay in the hospital for long periods of time. Nursing homes and hospice care are generally included in Part A Medicare coverage. Some or all of the hospital stay will be covered with this type of Medicare.

Part B: Part B Medicare is medical insurance for the qualified individual. This comes in play when there are additional coverage’s that were not taken care of by Part A hospital insurance as well. Doctors' visits and other services while in the hospital are included in Part B Medicare, as well as certain supplies.

Part C: Medicare Part C, or Medical Advantage, is a convenient Medicare plan that combines Part A and B together. If a patient already has Part A and B, they have the option of choosing to use Medicare Advantage instead. All health care services will be covered under part C after the patient chooses a provider.

Part D: Medicare Part D is another vital part of Medicare coverage. This is the prescription drugs insurance that helps pay for much needed medications. Many senior citizens and disabled people would not be able to afford their treatment without this type of insurance.

People who wish to apply for Medicare should contact the Social Security office approximately 3 months before they turn age 65. Even if one is not retired or does not plan to retire at age 65, they may still be eligible for Medicare benefits. Some people such as those who already receive Social Security benefits will be contacted when it is time to receive Medicare. Furthermore, these people who are living in the United States (excluding Puerto Rico) will automatically be enrolled in Part A and B Medicare. The option to turn down Part B Medicare will be given. Some prefer to do so to avoid a required premium for Part B Medicare.

After being approved and enrolled in Medicare, the person will be sent a card to show which part of Medicare they have been approved for; Part A, B, or both. The card will be color coded according to which plan you qualified for. This card is very important and should be kept in a very safe place at all times. Patients should present this card for insurance purposes at all visits to the physician's office or hospital. For more information regarding Medicare visit the actual Social Security website at