Medicare “Parts” vs. Medicare Supplement “Plans” – Too Many Letters!

Medicare can be extremely confusing to many people, particularly when you are turning 65 or going on Medicare for the first time. You hear about Medigap Plan C and think Medicare Advantage plans, but those plans are actually Medicare PART C. By its very nature, it’s a complex healthcare system that is difficult to understand. Add to that the confusing way that the parts of Medicare are named for letters, as are the Medigap plans, and you have a lot of confused people calling things by incorrect names. This article is intended to distinguish between the “parts” of Medicare and the Medicare Supplement (or Medigap) “plans”.

Medicare has parts ranging from A through D. These parts of Medicare cover different aspects of your healthcare. Medicare Part A, for example, covers hospital and inpatient charges. Medicare Part B covers doctor’s services and outpatient services. Medicare Part D is the part of Medicare that covers prescription drugs. It is offered through private companies and you must sign up for this, either through Medicare itself or through a private company that offers Part D plans. Medicare Part C is a unique part of Medicare, in that it replaces Medicare Parts A & B. These plans (Medicare Part C) are also called Medicare Advantage plans. They are a privatized version of Medicare that has a system of co-pays and deductibles and a network of participating doctors/hospitals. It is essential to understand these plans and what they are/how they work before signing up in one of them.

As far as the Medigap letters, there are a total of 10 different plans. The plans are named for letters A-N (obviously, there are a few missing letters). There are also plans A through D. This is where it gets confusing to many people on Medicare or going on Medicare. Medigap Plan C is different than Part C. It is very important that you use the correct terminology when discussing Medicare or Medicare insurance with someone. You could conceivably have both a Part D (prescription coverage) and a Plan D (Medigap plan), and you need to know what you are asking for or talking about when comparing the plan options for both parts and plans.

Overall, Medicare can definitely be a confusing entity. It has many intricacies that prevent people from understanding it thoroughly. This causes many people to shut down, in a sense, and avoid thinking about it. However, once you have a basic grasp of the concepts, you too can be a Medicare expert and understand the differences between the letters – Medicare parts and Medigap plans.

If you want more information or want to get Medigap quotes, please visit us online or call us at 877.506.3378.


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