When people hear the word,
Medicare, they often believe it is one comprehensive healthcare plan, often
only offered to the disabled and the underprivileged. While it does help those
in need, as well as those who are unable to procure health insurance any other
way, Medicare comes in several forms depending on the patient’s needs, as well
as what the government and healthcare assessment deems necessary on the
patient’s behalf. Essentially, Medicare can be broken down into four parts,
known as Plans A, B, C, and D. While some are similar, each has their own
distinctions separating them from one another.

Part A it typically known as, “Original Medicare.” When most people think of
what Medicare offers, and to whom they offer it, they are often thinking of the
initial Medicare A package. Today Medicare A is represented by hospital
coverage (Marmor, 2017). Managed by
Medicare, it covered a variety of hospital-related visits and issues on behalf
of the patient. For example, Medicare A offers covers and benefits for hospice
and home health services, inpatient stays in a variety of skilled nursing
homes, and inpatient hospital care for those who require it. Based on this
criterion, who is able to receive Medicare Part A is narrow. One must be
sixty-five, which is when one becomes automatically enrolled in Part A. One
must also be receiving Social Security benefits. One can also be under
sixty-five, but must be disabled (Reid, Deb, Howell, Conway, &
Shrank, 2017).

Part B is similar to Medicare Part A in that it is also run directly by
Medicare. Furthermore, it is also referred to as, “Original Medicare,” by some.
In actuality, Medicare Part B was split from A, allowing A to compensate for
hospital related issues, while Medicare Part B focuses specifically on
providing medical coverage to its recipients (Doyle, Ettner, & Nuckols,
These benefits are wide ad varied. Medicare Part B can offer coverage and
benefits for different types of therapy, including speech, occupational, and
behavioral. It also covers any necessary screenings for suspected illnesses and
diseases, and allows for clinical lab services and routine check-ups with a
physician. Part B covers home healthcare for recipients, as well as outpatient
and preventative care (Marmor, 2017). Arguably, Medicare
Part B offers the first and most important line of defense concerning combatting
illness while providing health awareness until one considers Medicare Part C. Similar
to Part A, one must be sixty-five to receive Part B’s benefits, and must
already receive Social Security benefits, or be under the age of sixty-five and
have a disability. One is automatically enrolled in Part B at the age of
sixty-five, and will receive a card representing your coverage three months
before that birthday (Marmor, 2017).

Part C is similar to Part A and B because it combines the two parts to create a
more comprehensive health plan for those who need it, however it is often
managed by private insurance agencies, rather than Medicare itself. These
companies do operate within Medicare approved contracts (Doyle,
Ettner, & Nuckols, 2016). Commonly known
today as Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part C is another way for applicants to
receive Medicare services, but it is also more reliable concerning one’s health
as it allows for the recipient to receive full coverage during hospital related
events and other illness and health issues that may be less serious, but still
expensive and necessary. In some cases, Part C also includes Medicare Part D,
which is referred to as the Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan. This, of
course is the most comprehensive plan Medicare offers, allowing for recipients
to enjoy every possible benefit presented by the health plan. In many cases,
when Part C combines all parts of Medicare, it is reserved for individuals who
have become permanently disabled, the elderly, and in some cases those who are
recovering from a disability but are expected to work again (Reid, Deb,
Howell, Conway, & Shrank, 2017). Disabilities can
range between mental and physical in nature, and must be assessed under great
scrutiny by a physician within the Medicare network to assess whether the
individual is eligible for Part C, or Part C with the combination of Part D. The
eligibility for Plan C is much different than that of A and B. One must live
within Part C’s service area, not be suffering from End-Stage Renal Disease,
and be a citizen of the United States (Marmor, 2017). It is typical for
individuals to sign up for Part C during the initial enrollment period, which
is at the age of sixty-five, or when Social Security benefits are drawn, but
not everybody does this.

Part D, as stated above, is Medicare’s prescription drug program. It offers
coverage on patient’s prescription drugs and can be combined with Part C, or
can be used as a stand-alone plan that is not used with any other insurance.
Unlike the other plans, Medicare Part D can be coupled with insurance plans
outside of the Medicare network (Marmor, 2017). Unsurprisingly,
Part D covers the cost of the patient’s prescription medications. Some prescriptions
may be free, though normally the plan simply lowers the price, however
significantly, and often helps maintain a steady price, protecting from future
price hikes the patient would otherwise be unable to afford. If a person is
eligible for any other Part of Medicare, they are eligible for Medicare Part D (Reid, Deb,
Howell, Conway, & Shrank, 2017). Similar to Part C,
many sign up for Part D at the age of sixty-five or when they draw Social
Security benefits, though many also use Part D sooner due to disabilities.

sum, Medicare in all of its parts is essential to the health and wellness of
its beneficiaries. Typically offered to the elderly, and often automatically
given to them after drawing benefits or turning sixty-five, it is clear while
Medicare was instigated to begin with. Individuals with disabilities are still
able to take advantage of what Medicare has to offer during enrollment periods,
though they may fair better under Medicaid’s plans, as this offers more
comprehensive plans for those needs. While Part A, B, and D can operate
separately, Part C can combine two or each of the parts in an effort to give
each recipient everything necessary to live a full, health life at a reasonable



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