**This is Part 1 of a 5-part series intended to explain various aspects of Medicare and Medigap policies to someone turning 65 or about to go on Medicare.**You will, no doubt, be inundated with information by mail, phone and email regarding your upcoming transition to Medicare. This article explains the differences in “parts” and “plans”, which is a commonly confused difference that can lead to tremendous misunderstandings and mistakes when looking at plan options.
Part 1 – Parts vs. Plans – Lots of Letters and
One of the most confusing (to most people) things about turning-65 is understanding the terminology. More specifically, there are “parts” (of Medicare) and “plans” (Medigap). Many people get these confused and it can lead to making decisions that are not to your advantage.
Parts of Medicare
There are four parts of Medicare. Medicare Part A is the part that covers hospital and inpatient services. You get this automatically from paying into the Medicare system during your working life.
Medicare Part B is the part of Medicare that covers doctor’s office and outpatient services (like labwork, etc.). You must sign up for Part B in order to have this part of Medicare. There is a $104.90/month premium for this that is generally paid through a Social Security deduction.
Medicare Part C is an optional part of Medicare that is also known as Medicare Advantage. If you wish to stay with “original” Medicare (Medicare Parts A & B), you do NOT need to sign up for Part C. In fact, if you sign up for ‘C’, all of your coverage is provided through the private Part C company and Parts A & B no longer provide your benefits.
Medicare Part D is the prescription drugs part of Medicare. This part of Medicare is also optional and provided through private companies. In order to have prescription drug coverage, you must sign up for Part D. You can do this by calling 1-800-MEDICARE or through an independent agent.
Plans – Medigap
Medigap plans are also named by letters, which is the source of most people’s confusion. The plans are standardized and each company is required to offer the plans from the standardized plans chart. This chart goes from “A” to “N”. You should select a plan that meets your needs from a reputable company with low rates. You can view the full chart here that shows what the standardized plans cover: Standardized Plans Chart
If you have any specific questions, or if we can help in any way, please do not hesitate to reply to this email or contact us toll-free at 877.506.3378. We are a leading, independent Medicare Insurance agency. Because we are an independent agency, we work as a centralized place to compare all plan options, ask questions, and make unbiased decisions.
If you prefer to speak with someone by phone, please call me directly using the information below:
J. Garrett Ball, President
Secure Medicare Solutions, Inc.