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Common Medicare questions

What are the different parts of Medicare?

There are 4 parts of Medicare: Parts A, B, C, and D.

Part A: Basic hospital insurance

Part B: Basic medical insurance

Part C: Medicare Advantage plans

Part D: Medicare prescription drug plans

More info: What are the different parts of Medicare?

When can you sign up for Medicare?

Your first chance to sign up for Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A & B) will be around your 65th birthday. When you sign up for Original Medicare, you are enrolling in basic hospital and medical coverage only.

If you are under 65, you may qualify if you have a disability or serious disease such as End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

After you enroll in Original Medicare, you can apply for optional Medicare health and drug coverage that may offer extra benefits. Plans that provide this coverage are called Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D). Your first chance to sign up for these plans also is around your 65th birthday.

If you do not enroll in a Medicare plan around your 65th birthday, there are designated periods when you can enroll each year.

More info: When can you sign up for Medicare?

Does Medicare provide dental and vision coverage?

Original Medicare (Parts A & B) provides some dental and vision coverage, but only in limited situations. If you need more comprehensive dental and vision coverage, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes these benefits.

More info: Does Medicare provide dental and vision coverage?

What Durable Medical Equipment (DME) is covered under Medicare?

Original Medicare can often cover a wide range of Durable Medical Equipment. In some cases, Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans can cover Durable Medical Equipment not covered by Original Medicare.

More Info: Medicare and DME

What Medical procedures are covered under Medicare?

Numerous procedures and services are offered under Original Medicare. In some cases, Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans may cover some additional procedures that Original Medicare won't cover.

More Info: Medicare Covered Procedures

More info: Medicare Coverage

What drugs are covered under Medicare?

While Original Medicare will rarely cover prescriptions, Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage can help pay for any prescription drug you may need.

More Info: Prescription Drug Coverage

What’s the difference between Medicare Supplement insurance and Medicare Advantage plans?

Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) and Medicare Supplement insurance (Medigap) both supplement Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A & B), but they do so in very different ways.

Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative way to get your Original Medicare benefits, plus in certain cases, additional coverage for dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage.

Medicare Supplement insurance is a type of insurance coverage that helps you pay for your Original Medicare co-payments, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs.

Both types of health plans are sold by private companies and require you to be enrolled in Original Medicare before you are eligible for coverage.

You cannot have a Medicare Supplement insurance policy and a Medicare Advantage plan at the same time.

More info: Medicare Advantage plans vs. Medicare Supplement insurance

How do you get Medicare drug coverage?

There are two ways to get prescription drug coverage through the Medicare program. You can either enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C) that includes drug coverage or enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D).

Both Part C plans and Part D plans are provided by private health insurers and are regulated by the federal government.

Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A & B) does not provide prescription drug coverage.

More info: How do you get Medicare drug coverage?

What drugs are covered under Medicare?

Have your questions answered by a Medicare expert

Medicare expert Christian Worstell answers reader questions about everything from Medicare benefits to enrollment and eligibility. To learn the answers to popular Medicare FAQs, check out the articles below.

If you're ready to compare the Medicare plan options available where you live, you can call to speak with a licensed insurance agent. You can also compare plans online for free, with no obligation to enroll.

Once you've found the best Medicare plan for your needs, you can enroll over the phone or online, if you're eligible.

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