Oppenheimer logo banner header
A Guide to Understanding Medicare

What is Medicare

Main Parts of Medicare:

  1. Medicare Part A (Hospital Coverage)

    Medicare Part A covers inpatient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF) stays, although not custodial or long-term care. Part A also helps pay for hospice care and some home health care. It has a deductible of about $1,408 per benefit period, and also requires coinsurance for extended inpatient hospital and SNF stays.

  2. Medicare Part B (Medical Coverage)

    Medicare Part B covers physician visits and other medically necessary services and supplies. That includes preventive services or health care to prevent illness, as well as ambulance services, durable medical equipment, mental health coverage and a few types of outpatient prescription drugs. The standard Part B premium starts at about $144.60 per month.

  3. Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage)

    Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, is a type of health plan offered by private insurance companies that provides the benefits of Parts A, B, and D in a package deal. These bundled plans may have additional coverage, such as vision, hearing and dental care. Unlike Original Medicare (Part A and B), Medicare Advantage plans have an annual limit on out-of-pocket costs.

  4. Medicare Part D (Prescription Drugs)

    Medicare Part D helps cover the cost of prescription drugs. Plans are offered by private insurers and require monthly premiums that average about $33 per month. Higher income beneficiaries may pay more. As with Part B, there typically is a late penalty premium if you don’t sign up when you first become eligible.

  5. Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Insurance

    Medigap is additional health insurance available for purchase through a private insurer designed to help fill Medicare Parts A and B coverage gaps. There are 10 standardized Medicare Supplement insurance plans, denoted by the letters A through N, with each offering a different level of basic benefits. This provides individuals with the opportunity of choosing which physicians and hospitals they would like to use.

Medicare Eligibility and Enrollment