Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps cover your inpatient care in hospitals. Part A also helps cover skilled nursing facility, hospice, and home health care if you meet certain conditions.
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) helps cover medically-necessary services like doctors? services and outpatient care. Part B also helps cover some preventive services to help maintain your health and to keep certain illnesses from getting worse.
Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans) is another way to get your Medicare benefits. It combines Part A, Part B, and, sometimes, Part D (prescription drug) coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans are managed by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. These plans must cover medically-necessary services. However, plans can charge different copayments, coinsurance, or deductibles for these services.
Medicare Part D (Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage) helps cover prescription drugs. This coverage may help lower your prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future.
Compare TRICARE and Medicare Part D
Care in hospitals as an inpatient, critical access hospitals (small facilities that give limited outpatient and inpatient services to people in rural areas), skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and some home health care. Information about your coverage under Medicare Part A can be found in the Your Medicare Coverage database.
Cost: Most people get Part A automatically when they turn age 65. They do not have to pay a monthly payment called a premium for Part A because they or a spouse paid Medicare taxes while they were working.If you (or your spouse) did not pay Medicare taxes while you worked and you are age 65 or older, you still may be able to buy Part A.
Doctors' services, outpatient hospital care, and some other medical services that Part A does not cover, such as the services of physical and occupational therapists, and some home health care. Part B helps pay for these covered services and supplies when they are medically necessary. Information about your coverage under Medicare Part B can be found in the Your Medicare Coverage database.
You pay the Medicare Part B premium of $96.40 per month in 2008 and 2009. In some cases this amount may be higher if you did not choose Part B when you first became eligible at age 65. The cost of Part B may go up 10% for each 12-month period that you could have had Part B but did not sign up for it, except in special cases. You will have to pay this extra 10% for the rest of your life.
Enrolling in part B is your choice. You can sign up for Part B anytime during a 7-month period that begins 3 months before you turn 65.
Visit the Your Medicare Coverage database.
Call your Medicare Carrier about bills and services.
You may have choices in how you get your health care including the Original Medicare Plan, Medicare Managed Care Plans (like HMOs), and Medicare Private Fee-for-Service Plans.
For more information, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. Or visit the Medicare website to get the most up to date details.
Part A: (Hospital Insurance) Premium
Most people do not pay a monthly Part A premium because they or a spouse has 40 or more quarters of Medicare-covered employment.
The Part A premium is $244.00 per month for people having 30-39 quarters of Medicare-covered employment.
The Part A premium is $443.00 per month for people who are not otherwise eligible for premium-free hospital insurance and have less than 30 quarters of Medicare-covered employment.
Part B: (Medical Insurance) Premium
$96.40 per month*
Part A: (pays for inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility, and some home health care) For each benefit period Medicare pays all covered costs except the Medicare Part A deductible (2009 = $1,068) during the first 60 days and coinsurance amounts for hospital stays that last beyond 60 days and no more than 150 days.
For each benefit period you pay:
A total of $1,068 for a hospital stay of 1-60 days.
$267 per day for days 61-90 of a hospital stay.
$534 per day for days 91-150 of a hospital stay (Lifetime Reserve Days).
All costs for each day beyond 150 days
Skilled Nursing Facility Coinsurance
$133.50 per day for days 21 through 100 each benefit period.
Part B: (covers Medicare eligible physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment)
$135.00 per year. (Note: You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for services after you meet the $135.00 deductible.)
Additional information about the Medicare premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance rates for 2009 is available in the September 19, 2008 Fact Sheet titled, "CMS Announces Medicare Premiums, Deductibles for 2009" on the www.cms.gov website.
*Note: If your income is above $85,000 (single) or $170,000 (married couple), then your Medicare Part B premium may be higher than $96.40 per month. For additional details, see our FAQ titled: " Medicare Part B Monthly Premiums in 2009"