The 4 Basic Parts
Part A, Hospital Coverage, is generally offered at no additional cost to qualifying individuals who have at least forty calendar quarters, ten years, of employment in any job in which Social Security taxes were paid for in the United States.
Part B, Doctors and Outpatient services, is optional coverage that requires a premium to be paid monthly. The premium will be based on, up to, the previous two years of annual income. Part B is not full coverage. There is still a deductible to be met and other out of pocket expenses.
Part C, or Medicare Advantage, is the part of Medicare that allows private health insurance companies to provide one Medicare benefit option. Medicare private health plans are known as HMOs, PPOs, PFFS, and SNP. You can choose to get your Medicare coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan instead of traditional Medicare, but you cannot have both. You cannot have Medicare Parts A and B with Part C.
Part D, or Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs), is the part of Medicare that provides prescription drug coverage. Medicare Part D Plans are provided only through private insurance companies that have legal agreements with the government; it’s never provided directly from the government. If you want Part D, you must choose Part D coverage that works with your Medicare health benefits.