Traditional Medicare Parts A & B

Traditional Medicare is made up of Parts A & B.  Part A is often referred to as your, “Hospitalization Benefit” it actually covers the following.

  • In patient care in hospitals
  • Skilled nursing facility care
  • Hospice Care
  • Home Health Care

Part A is what you paid for while you were working.  For Part B there is a monthly premium for most people that will be $135.50 in 2019.  Part B is often referred to as your “Doctor Benefit” it works like 80/20 co-insurance where you pay the 20%.  It covers essentially covers the services required to diagnose your conditions and pay the doctors.  

  • Services from Doctors and other providers
  • Outpatient care
  • Home Health Care
  • Durable Medical Equipment
  • Some Preventive Services

These two Parts are what is referred to as Traditional (some people will say “Original”) Medicare.

Part D plans and Supplements

Though Medicare has been around since 1965, Part D plans only came into fruition in 2006.  Part D plans (Drug Plans) cover your outpatient prescriptions (that is prescriptions you generally take at home).  Every plan is required to have choices in it’s formulary (that is the list of drugs it covers) in every theraputic category.  The best way to pick a Part D plan is to use the online tool at Medicare.gov.   

Supplements (also called Medigap) fill in the gaps in coverage of traditional Medicare.  Supplements can pay the deductibles, co-insurance, and even excess charges.  It all depends on which supplement you choose.   Medicare Supplements all have different letter designations.  For instance there is a “G” supplement and an “N” supplement (There is a complete chart in the article below).  A Medicare supplement is what is known as a defined benefit plan.  What that means is that one company’s “G” is the same as every other companies “G.”  So you are shopping for 3 things.  First, which supplement you want.  Second, the initial cost.  Third, that company’s history of rate stability.  

Medicare Advantage Plans

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