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Good health is one of life’s “priceless treasures” because a person’s health affects his/her physical, mental, and emotional well-being. An important factor in good healthcare is health insurance. Health insurance facilitates good access to healthcare, directly correlated with better health outcomes and lower death rates. Medicare is a major way that many Americans receive healthcare benefits. Since it can be confusing, it’s important to understand the differences between Medicare plans and Medicaid, as well as parts A, B, C, and D.                     

How Many People Are Enrolled in Medicare 

As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) reported for 2023, over 65 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare, representing about 25.4% of all adult Americans. Of those, about 7.7 million people are under the age of 65. About 34 million people are enrolled in Original Medicare which includes Part A and Part B benefits, and about 31.5 million people are enrolled in Medicare Advantage programs which includes Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D. About 22.5 million people have a standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. There are important differences between Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D.

The Differences between Medicare and Medicaid 

Medicare and Medicaid are separate programs run by different parts of the government to serve different groups. Medicare is a federal program that provides healthcare coverage for individuals who are 65+ and for individuals under 65 who have a disability, permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant,) or ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides healthcare coverage for individuals with very low incomes.

The Differences Between Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D 

Medicare is divided into four parts. Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital care, nursing facility care, home healthcare, and hospice care. Medicare Part B is insurance that pays for doctor’s services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventative health services. Parts A and B are part of what is termed “Original Medicare.”  

Medicare Advantage (Part C) is an alternative extra-cost service private insurance companies provide. It covers all the things that Parts A and B cover and adds other benefits, including routine dental care, routine vision care, routine hearing care, and fitness programs. These items are not covered by Original Medicare Part B. Part D, only offered by private insurance plans, covers prescription drugs (Part B only covers certain vaccines and medications, based on specific health conditions.) 

The differences between Medicare coverage options include differences in costs. Most people don’t pay a premium for Medicare Part A. Part B requires a monthly premium. Parts C and D as part of various Medicare Advantage plans come with varying costs, depending on the coverage that is chosen.

Get Professional Home Care for Your Loved Ones 

Contact Caring Healthcare in Columbia, SC. Whether you need home healthcare for an aging family member, special needs child, or extra help for another family member, we are here for you. Our compassionate and courteous in-home care aides are extensively screened and are experienced in providing routine personal care, transportation, supervision, and companionship for our clients. And we offer flexible care options.