MEDICARE PART A
Medicare Part A covers your hospital expenses. This includes hospital stays, skilled nursing care, hospice, and home health-care services. You may have to pay various deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. You earn Part A by paying taxes toward Medicare while working for 10 years (or 40 quarters). If you did not earn Part A, you will pay a premium.
MEDICARE PART B
Medicare Part B covers services that treat illnesses or conditions such as doctor’s office visits, lab work, x-rays, and outpatient surgeries. It also covers preventive services like cancer screenings and flu shots. Part B also covers medically necessary durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs and walkers to treat a disease or condition. Most people pay a premium for Part B. Even if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan that provides your Part A and Part B benefits, you will still pay your Part B premium.
MEDICARE PART D
Prescription Drug Plans
Original Medicare doesn’t cover prescription drugs. Although Medicare Part D coverage is optional, it can be valuable if you take medications. You will pay a late-enrollment penalty if you don’t sign up for Medicare Part D Coverage when you are first eligible. You can get Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage either through an independent Prescription Drug Plan (PDP), or through a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes prescription drug coverage.