Medicare 101

An introduction to eligibility, coverage, and Medicare Advantage

Whether you’re about to become eligible for Medicare or need a change to your policy, it’s helpful to know the basics to make informed decisions about your future. With over 62 million Americans enrolled, Medicare is the largest health insurance program in the U.S., intended for people 65 years and older or living with a qualifying disability or End-Stage Renal Disease. 

Medicare Advantage provides “all-in-one” Medicare coverage. Also known as Part C, MA combines the essential components of Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical and outpatient insurance), adding a few other types of insurance to provide full coverage for nearly 40% of all Medicare beneficiaries

To learn more about enrollment and eligibility into Medicare Advantage, refer to these frequently asked questions (FAQs).

The ABC’s of Medicare

Medicare is comprised of four different parts: A, B, C & D. Parts A and B are sometimes referred to as Original Medicare and are managed by the Federal Government. Parts C and D are offered by private insurance companies that contract directly with Medicare.

Part A

Hospital Insurance

Helps cover:

  • inpatient care in hospitals
  • skilled nursing facility care
  • hospice care
  • home health care

Part B

Medical Insurance

Helps cover:

  • Services from doctors and other health care providers
  • Outpatient care
  • Home health care
  • Durable medical equipment (like wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, and other equipment)
  • Many preventive services (like screenings, shots or vaccines, and yearly “Wellness” visits)

Part C

Medicare Advantage

Also known as Medicare Advantage, Part C is an alternative to traditional Medicare coverage. Coverage normally includes all of Parts A and B, a prescription drug plan (Part D), and, depending on your choice of a Medicare Advantage plan, other possible benefits such as Dental, Vision, and Hearing.

Part C is administered by Medicare-approved private insurance companies that collect your Medicare payment from the federal government.

Part D

Drug coverage

Helps cover:

  • the cost of prescription drugs (including many recommended shots or vaccines).

You join a Medicare drug plan in addition to Original Medicare, or you get it by joining a Medicare Advantage Plan with drug coverage. Plans that offer Medicare drug coverage are run by private insurance companies that follow rules set by Medicare.

Medicare Advantage FAQs

Answers to commonly asked questions concerning Medicare Advantage


With Medicare Advantage, you receive the same coverage you would get with Traditional Medicare (Parts A and B) alongside other types of coverage, like vision, hearing, and dental. If you have a chronic illness, you can even choose a Medicare Advantage plan created specifically with your illness in mind, making it easier to receive ongoing treatments.