What are the 4 parts of Medicare?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program. It covers people 65 or older, and some younger people with disabilities or other special situations. You may have heard about the 4 parts of Medicare, known as Medicare Parts A, B, C and D. But do you know what’s the difference, or what’s covered by each part? This article explains the services covered by each part of Medicare. That may be helpful if you have both Medicare and Medicaid and you’re wondering what’s covered by Medicare versus your state Medicaid plan.

1. Medicare Part A: Hospital Insurance.

What is Medicare Part A and what does it cover?

Medicare Part A covers services that you may get as an inpatient during a stay in hospital or a skilled nursing facility. These services are provided by the care facility itself, including:

  • Meals
  • Lab tests
  • X-rays
  • Operating and recovery room services, and more

Hospice care and some home health care services are also covered by Medicare Part A.

2. Medicare Part B: Medical Insurance

What is Medicare Part B and what does it cover?

Medicare Part B covers doctor services and preventive care. That includes:

  • Services provided when a doctor treats you in hospital
  • Urgent care or emergency room treatment
  • Checkups and routine doctor visits
  • Preventive care and testing, such as flu shots, eye exams and cancer screenings

3. Medicare Part C: Medicare Advantage Plans

What is Medicare Part C and what does it cover?

Medicare Part C covers both Medicare Parts A and B (what’s also known as “Original Medicare”) together. Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B are often combined under one plan, called a Medicare Advantage plan.

Dual Special Needs Plans (also known as D-SNPs or dual health plans) are a type of Medicare Advantage Plan. These plans are for people who have both Medicare and Medicaid. Dual health plans offer extra help for those living with complex health care needs and limited income. Many dual health plans include care coordination. That makes it easier to manage multiple doctors and specialists. Dual health plans usually offer extra benefits like vision, dental and hearing coverage. That can help cover care that many people are missing or may not be able to afford.

Find out more about the extra benefits you could get with a dual health plan.

4. Medicare Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage.

What is Medicare Part D and what does it cover?

Medicare Part D covers certain prescription drugs, except those already covered by Medicare Parts A and B. It’s possible to get drug coverage through a stand-alone Part D plan. But to make things easy, most Medicare Advantage dual health plans include drug coverage. If you take any prescription medicines, you’ll want make sure your drugs are covered by a dual health plan before you enroll.

Learn more about dual health plan prescription drug coverage.

See UnitedHealthcare plans in your area.

Please note: What dual-eligible plans you can get depends on where you live. To find a UnitedHealthcare Dual Complete® plan for you, please search plans in your state. 

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