Part A – is considered to be hospitalization insurance. It covers inpatient care at hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and qualified home health and hospice care.
Part B – is considered to be what most people think of as health insurance. It covers doctor visits and outpatient care, along with certain other Medicare services that Part A does not cover (like physical therapy). You have a seven (7) month period in which you can apply for Part B; the three months prior to turning 65, the month you turn 65, and the three months after you turn 65.
Part C – formerly known as “Medicare+Choice”, but is now known as “Medicare Advantage”. Private insurers manage Medicare Advantage plans, like HMO’s and PPO’s. To join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you must qualify for Part A & B before you can apply for Part C.
Part D – considered to be prescription medication coverage, is also offered through private insurers and covers only Medicare-approved prescription medications.