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What are the Medicare Parts

The Medicare parts are a range of health care benefits available to eligible people in the United States. They were created by Congress in 1965 and became effective on January 1, 1966. This was when Medicare was implemented for 65 and older, previously covered by the Hospital Insurance Act of 1886. The Medicare program covers certain health care costs for qualified people who have purchased or been assigned this coverage by the government. Medicare costs are funded by an income-related tax called the Medicare hospital insurance portion of the hospital insurance payroll deduction.

It is a contributory social insurance program; when people purchase it, they have a personal card with a number. They can use this card to go to hospitals and doctors for the Medicare program’s services. These Medicare benefits include rehabilitative therapy, home health care, hospice care, and skilled nursing facility services. This health care program has four parts: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D.

Parts A

Part A, or Hospital Insurance, is one of the four original Medicare benefits. Part A is available to anyone 65 or older with at least five years of U.S. residence and who has paid Medicare payroll taxes. People who have worked long enough under Social Security are generally entitled to Part A without paying premiums. Part A covers; Home health care, hospice care services, nursing home care, inpatient care in a hospital, and skilled nursing facility care.

You can know whether your Medicare covers what you want by calling the Medicare call center or talking to your doctor or a health provider. Medicare coverage depends on state and federal laws, local coverage decisions made by the companies to confirm whether the patient qualifies, and national coverage decisions made by Medicare.

Part A does not cover dental care, durable medical equipment, over-the-counter drugs, nonmedical services such as haircuts, or medical supplies. A person is considered to have paid Medicare taxes when an individual meets the work requirement in Form SSA-1040. This form is usually completed by employers and forwarded to the Social Security Administration.

Parts B

Part B of Medicare covers medically necessary physician services. The services under Part B are administered on an outpatient basis. In addition to hospital expenses, Medicare Part B pays for other medical services such as medical appliances, related supplies, and tests. Part B’s services include; outpatient and preventive care, laboratory services, diagnostic tests, medical supplies, and equipment.

Part B is covered by the HI tax Medicare component of the hospital insurance payroll deduction. The HI tax rate is deducted from your total earned income.

Part B is funded by Medicare payroll taxes you already pay toward Social Security. One can call the Medicare call center or the website to find out what Part of their Medicare is covered.

Part C

Part C of Medicare is known as the Medicare Advantage Program or MAPP. This program allows people to choose an approved private health insurance company that can help cover medical care costs and the benefits provided by Medicare. The company that people choose to be their medical insurance is also responsible for assisting people with Medicare with enrollment. Some of the services under Part C include; dental care, fitness membership, vision care such as glasses, hearing care and testing, and wellness programs. No premium is required to sign up for the Part C of the Medicare program.

Part D

Part D of Medicare covers prescription drugs and supplies. Since 2006, Medicare prescription drug coverage has been offered through private plans. The law allows Medicare beneficiaries to choose their prescription drug plan and payment amount from various available health plans after a request for a voluntary competitive bidding process. To enroll in Part D, people apply for the program through an insurance company that offers Medicare coverage.

Each plan has a formulary or list of prescription medications covered by the plan. The form includes preferred drugs and those requiring additional approval to be covered. Each plan will offer at least two standard drug benefit levels; some may have more than one standard option. Some plans require you to use mail-order programs for refills. The costs for the different plans are not equal. They differ in the cost-sharing requirements for prescription drugs and other services, such as physician’s office visits and preventative care.

Medicare (Part A and Part B) must be provided to those who qualify. The application process for public health care programs varies from state to state but usually involves a single application that covers all health care services as needed.


Medicare is a program that provides medical coverage to those people who qualify. It is the largest and most comprehensive health plan in the United States, with over 41 million people enrolled. Most Medicare enrollees are elderly individuals and those who have disabilities. Medicare provides medical benefits as a basic insurance coverage option, including medical premiums and cost-sharing.

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