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Medicare 101

Medicare Parts A, B, C and D

Christian Worstell

by Christian Worstell | Published October 10, 2023 | Reviewed by John Krahnert

Medicare is made up of four parts: Medicare Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D. Each part provides different benefits, and some even work together.

Learn more about the 4 parts of Medicare and the benefits they offer below.

Medicare Part A and Part B

Medicare Part A and Part B make up what’s known as Original Medicare.

Original Medicare is a federally administered, fee-for-service health insurance for people age 65 and older and younger people with certain disabilities or medical conditions.

Original Medicare provides coverage for both inpatient and outpatient medical care, health care services and medical devices. 

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Medicare Part A: Hospital Insurance

Examples of services that Medicare Part A helps cover include: 

  • Inpatient hospital care

  • Skilled nursing facility care

  • Hospice

  • Limited home health services

Most people get premium-free Part A, but if you have to buy it, you could pay up to $506 per month in 2023.

If you’re admitted as an inpatient to a hospital or skilled nursing facility, you'll pay a $1,600 deductible in 2023 for each benefit period, and daily coinsurance if you have a hospital stay longer than 60 days.

Medicare Part B: Medical Insurance

Examples of services that Medicare Part B helps cover include: 

  • Doctor’s office visits

  • Preventive care

  • Physical and occupational therapy

  • Mental health care

  • Ambulance services

  • Durable medical equipment

The standard premium amount for Medicare Part B is 2023 is $164.9 per month (or more, depending on your income).

In addition to your monthly premium, you pay $226 per year for your Part B deductible in 2023.

Once your deductible is met, you usually pay a coinsurance of 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for medically necessary care and services.

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Part C: Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative to Original Medicare that are sold by private health insurers.

These private health plans provide you with all your Part A and Part B benefits, and some plans may include additional benefits such as: 

  • Vision

  • Hearing

  • Dental services

  • Prescription drug coverage

If you choose to get your Medicare coverage through a Medicare Advantage Plan instead of through Original Medicare, you still pay your Part B premium plus a premium for your Medicare Advantage plan (if the plan has one). 

Medicare Advantage plans have different costs, rules, and coverage limitations that can affect how and where you receive care, depending on the plan you select.

Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage

Medicare Part D plans are sold by private insurance companies to help cover prescription drugs for those enrolled in Original Medicare.

Remember, Original Medicare does not provide coverage for prescription drugs. 

In addition to the Part D plan premiums, you may have to pay some Part D costs out-of-pocket, including an annual deductible and copayments or coinsurance.

You can compare Part D plans available where you live and enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan online when you visit 

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Medigap Plans Work Alongside Original Medicare

Medicare Supplement Insurance (also called Medigap) plans help cover certain Medicare out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles, coinsurance, copays and other fees. 

There are 10 standardized Medigap plans in most states, and each provides its own level of coverage. A licensed insurance agent can help you find Medigap plans in your area and get you enrolled in one that works for you. 

Call today to speak with a licensed insurance agent and find out more about your Medigap plan options.


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Christian Worstell is a health care and policy writer for He has written hundreds of articles helping people better understand their Medicare coverage options.

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