For Consumers

What are the different parts of Medicare?

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people age 65 and older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with end stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD). It includes four different parts:

Part AMedicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps cover:

  • Inpatient hospital care
  • Skilled nursing facility care
  • Hospice care
  • Home health care

​​​​Medicare Part BMedicare Part B (Medical Insurance) helps cover:

  • Services from doctors and other health care providers
  • Outpatient hospital care
  • Home health care
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Some preventive services

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage)Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage):

  • Includes all benefits and services covered under Original Medicare Parts A and B
  • Usually includes Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) as part of the plan
  • Is run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies
  • May include extra benefits and services for an extra cost
  • You generally must get your care and services from providers in the plan's network, except for emergency care, out-of-area urgent care and out-of-area dialysis

Medicare Part D (Medicare prescription drug coverage)Medicare Part D (Medicare prescription drug coverage):

  • Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs
  • Run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies
  • Each plan has its own list of formulary and contracted pharmacies, and prescription drug costs may vary