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What are the different parts of Medicare? Skip to content

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What are the different parts of Medicare?

En español | Since Congress created the Medicare program in 1965, its benefits have expanded along with the number of its beneficiaries. The program now covers 57 million older Americans, plus 9 million disabled people. There are now four main parts to Medicare:

  • Part A helps pay for the cost of inpatient stays in hospitals and short-term skilled nursing facilities, home health services and hospice care.
  • Part B helps pay for doctors’ services (including those in the hospital), outpatient care (in or out of a hospital), diagnostic tests, preventive care and some medical equipment and supplies.
  • Part C, or Medicare Advantage, is an alternative coverage option to original Medicare that allows you to choose to receive all of your Medicare health care benefits through one plan. These plans must cover all Part A and Part B services, and most include Part D drug coverage. Some plans also provide extra benefits that original Medicare doesn’t offer.
  • Part D helps cover the cost of outpatient FDA-approved prescription drugs.

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