Under Medicare, there are three major Parts (A, B, and D) as well as supplemental options. Parts A and B make up what is known as “Original Medicare”
- Medicare Part A – Part A covers hospitalization, skilled nursing facilities, and hospice care. Most people pay $0 for their Part A premium. You may become eligible for Medicare Part A by “ageing in” at age 65, or if you or your spouse have legally worked for at least 40 quarters (ten years) and have paid your Medicare taxes. Some others become eligible due to disability or certain illnesses. Once enrolled in Part A, you do not need to reapply each year.
- Medicare Part B – Medicare Part B covers doctors, preventive services, and some physician-administered medications. Part B premiums range and are based on your previous taxable household adjusted gross income. Many preventive services under Part B (immunizations, well woman exam, smoking cessation programs) cost you $0!
- Medicare Part D – Medicare Part D, the prescription drug coverage portion of Medicare, is administered by private insurance companies. Part D plans cover most vaccinations (those not covered by Part B). It is required you have prescription drug coverage in addition to Medicare Part A and Part B or you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty.