Social Security Questions And Answers



Question: What are the four parts of Medicare?

Answer: The four parts of Medicare include:

• Hospital insurance (Part A), which helps pay hospital bills and some follow-up care. The taxes you (or your spouse in some cases) paid while working financed this coverage, so it’s premium free. For those who are not “insured,” coverage may be purchased.

• Medical insurance (Part B), which helps pay doctors’ bills and other services. There is a monthly premium you must pay for Medicare Part B and you may refuse this coverage.

• Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans, which generally cover many of the same benefits a Medigap policy would cover, such as extra days in the hospital after you have used the number of days Medicare covers. People with Medicare Parts A and B can choose to receive all of their health care services through one of these provider organizations under Part C. There might be additional premiums required for some plans; and

• Prescription drug coverage (Part D), which helps pay for medications doctors prescribe for treatment.

Anyone who has Medicare hospital insurance (Part A), medical insurance (Part B), or a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) is eligible for prescription drug coverage (Part D).

Joining a Medicare prescription drug plan is voluntary and you pay an additional monthly premium for the coverage.

To learn more about Medicare benefits, read our publication, Medicare, at

Question: I can’t get health insurance because of my pre-existing condition. Is there anything I can do?

Answer: You may be eligible for the new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan — a program for people who have a pre-existing condition and have been without health insurance coverage for at least six months.

For more information, call the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan toll-free: 1-866-717-5826 (TTY 1-866-561-1604) between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern Time. Or visit and select “Find Your State” to learn about eligibility and how to apply.


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