What is the difference between Medicare Part A & B?
Original Medicare is composed of two parts: Part A Hospital Insurance and Part B Medical Insurance. The U.S. federal government offers this fee-for-service program, and pays directly for the health services you receive.
Both parts can work together. Are you aware of the differences between both parts? Keep reading for an explanation of their benefits.
Medicare Part A
Simply put, Medicare Part A is hospital insurance. It normally covers the following types of care:
- Inpatient hospital stays
- Hospice care
- Skilled nursing care
- Limited home health services
You’re typically responsible for paying a deductible and coinsurance, and/or copayments for Medicare Part A services. Many individuals are not required to pay premiums if they or their spouse paid taxes toward Medicare while employed for at least 10 years (or 40 quarters). If you haven’t done so, you may have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A benefits.
Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B is health insurance coverage for outpatient medical services. These services include the following medically necessary services:
- Doctor’s office visits
- Lab work
- Outpatient surgeries
- Preventative services to keep you healthy (for example, flu shots and cancer screenings)
Medicare Part B also covers the costs of medically necessary durable equipment like wheelchairs and walkers required to treat certain conditions or diseases. Most people pay a premium for Medicare Part B, and the premium may vary for those in higher income brackets. You’ll most likely pay a deductible followed by 20 percent of the Medicare approved amount for Medicare Part B services.
A licensed insurance agent can help you choose a Medicare Supplement insurance policy that pays for out-of-pocket costs not covered by Medicare Parts A and B. You can also check out the article on “Why Should I Consider Medicare Supplement Insurance” for more information.