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Medicare Basics (Parts A - D)


Selecting a Medicare plan can make you feel like you fell into a bowl of alphabet soup... parts, plans, and letters. How do you sort it all out?

Keep these basics in mind as you explore Medicare choices:

  • Part A and Part B are referred to as Original Medicare
  • Part C combines Original Medicare and additional benefits (usually including prescription drug coverage) and is referred to as Medicare Advantage
  • Part D is Prescription Drug coverage which can be a stand-alone or included in Part C
     
  • Begin by understanding the basic parts of Medicare.

Through our consultative approach, a Longevity Alliance licensed health plan advisor explains the basics of Medicare, and helps you find the Medicare solution that best meets your needs.

At Longevity Alliance, we understand the importance to your financial security of finding the right health care plan with the right benefits and coverage at the right price. That's why we offer a choice of more than 24 leading Medicare insurance plans.

  • Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)

    Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)

    Government plan that helps cover the cost of inpatient hospital stays and skilled nursing facility care, hospice care and home health care.

    Potential Costs: Premium is free for most people eligible for Medicare. There is a deductible for each hospital stay ($1,132 in 2011) and copayment for other benefits.

  • Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)

    Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)

    Government plan that helps cover medical expenses such as doctor's services, inpatient and outpatient medical and surgical services, physical and speech therapy.

    Potential Costs: Monthly premium for new beneficiaries is $115.40 for 2011 (more if your income is over $85,000). Most current beneficiaries pay $96.40 per month. An annual deductible of $162. Medicare generally pays up to 80% of the care cost for covered services.

  • Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage)

    Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage)

    Medicare Advantage plans include Part A and Part B plus additional benefits. Often includes, Part D coverage. Medicare pays a fixed fee to the plan for your care. Provided by private insurance companies.

    Potential Costs: You must have Part A and Part B to enroll in Medicare Advantage .Plans are provided by private insurance companies. Some zero premium plans are available. You will pay co-pays and deductibles

  • Medicare Part D (Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage)

    Medicare Part D (Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage)

    Helps cover generic and brand name prescription drug costs. Provided by private insurance companies.

    Potential Costs: Monthly premiums for insurance provided by private insurance companies. Average cost per month in 2011 is about $32.00. Co-pays, deductibles and what drugs the plan covers at what level are key to comparing plans. If your income is above $85,000 you pay an additional amount above your plan premium.

  • Medigap Insurance Policy (Supplemental Insurance)

    Medigap Insurance Policy (Supplemental Insurance)

    Helps cover the costs that Medicare does not cover including deductibles, co-pays and generally 20% of services paid by Medicare. Plan benefits are standardized - the same from all insurers. Plans are referred to by letters Plan F is the most popular plan. These policies are provided by private insurance companies. They are also called Medicare Supplement plans.

    Potential Costs: Monthly premium depending upon which plan you purchase. Covers most out of pocket expenses. Prices vary widely by company, so compare. Some newer plans, such as Plan N, include co-pays. Most Medigap plans do not.

For more detailed information on Medicare costs and coverage see Medicare & You booklet and other resources in our Resources & Links.


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