The Different Parts of Medicare

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Medicare is health insurance for people 65 years old or older, and in some cases, people with disabilities. For general information about Medicare, read An Overview of Medicare.

There are multiple parts of Medicare that offer insurance coverage for different things. Below are descriptions of the different parts of Medicare.

Part A

Part A helps cover hospital visits, nursing facilities, home health care, and hospice care. There usually is no premium (monthly cost for coverage) for Part A. Most people pay Medicare taxes when they work, and this makes Part A premium-free. If you don’t get premium-free Part A, you may be able to buy Part A coverage. People who buy Part A in 2024 could pay up to $505 a month. If you buy Part A, you must also buy Part B.

To learn more, read Part A (Hospital Insurance) costs on the Medicare website. To learn more about programs that help cover Part A premiums, read Medicare Savings Programs.

Part B

Part B helps cover home health care, general wellness visits, and other outpatient doctor visits. It also helps cover medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, walkers, and hospital beds. For 2024 the Part B premium for most people is $174.70. However, if your adjusted gross income (AGI) on your federal tax returns for the past two years is over a certain amount, you will have to pay more. To learn more about the different AGI levels and the increased fees, read Part B (Medical Insurance) costs on the Medicare website.

To learn more about programs that help cover Part A premiums, read Medicare Savings Programs.

Part C – Medicare Advantage Plans

Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, are plans offered by private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare and must follow Medicare rules. Some types of Medicare Advantage plans include the following:

  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans
  • Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans
  • Special Needs Plans (SNPs)
  • Medical Saving Account (MSA) plans

To learn more about Medicare Advantage Plans, you can speak with someone at the Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP). MMAP is a free, state-wide counseling service designed to help people with questions about health care.

If you choose Medicare Advantage plans, you will get Medicare Part A and Part B through private companies rather than Original Medicare. To learn more about these options, read the section "Choose Between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage"  in An Overview of Medicare.

Part D

Part D helps cover the cost of prescription drugs. These plans are run by private insurance companies that follow Medicare rules. You can get drug coverage with both Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans. The premiums for these plans can vary. If you need help paying for prescription drug costs, you may qualify for a program known as “Extra Help.”

To learn more about these plans or Extra Help, read Medicare Savings Programs, or contact MMAP.


Medicare Supplement Insurance policies, also known as Medigap, help cover some health care costs not fully covered by Original Medicare. Read the section "Original Medicare" in An Overview of Medicare to learn more about it.

Some examples of costs Medigap policies help cover are copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. A deductible is an amount of your health care costs you are responsible for before your benefits start. For example, if you have a $100 deductible, you are responsible for the first $100 of your health care costs before your benefits start.

These policies usually don’t cover vision, dental, hearing, and long-term care.

Medigap policies are sold by private insurance companies, and they must follow state and federal laws. They must be labeled as “Medicare Supplement Insurance.” To learn more about these plans, visit How to compare Medigap policies on the Medicare website.

Medicare Savings Programs

Medicare Savings Programs, also known as the Medicare Buy-In Programs, help pay for Medicare premiums (monthly cost for coverage), coinsurances, and deductibles.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will help cover those costs for some people with low income. To learn more, read Medicare Savings Programs or visit Medicare Buy-In Program on the MDHHS website.