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What do the parts of Medicare cover?

Color portrait of Mark Pabst By Mark Pabst

Hispanic couple dancing at their wedding

While Medicare is a single health insurance program, it’s made up of different parts.  To get the most out of your Medicare coverage, you need to understand the relationship among these parts.

When it comes to selecting the best Medicare coverage, you have many different options. You may combine some parts, while others are designed to stand alone.

The chart below explores the benefits you get with the most popular combinations of Medicare coverage available. Each column represents a unique grouping of Medicare options. And each row represents a benefit or perk that comes with a particular type of coverage.

Let’s get to know what you get from the different combinations. That’s the first step in choosing the coverage that’s right for you. Learn more about each part of Medicare. 

Parts A + B (Original Medicare)*

Parts A + B + D

Parts A + B + D + Medicare Supplement

Part C (Medicare Advantage)

Hospital coverage

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Visits to doctors and other health care professionals

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Preventive care coverage

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Prescription drug coverage

No data available
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Yes, in some plans

Coverage while traveling abroad

No data available
No data available
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Yes, with some Medicare Supplement plans 

Some plans include emergency coverage abroad

Coverage of routine dental services

No data available
No data available
No data available
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Yes, in some plans

Coverage of routine vision and hearing services

No data available
No data available
No data available
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Yes, in some plans

Fitness membership benefits

No data available
No data available
No data available
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Yes, in some plans

Out-of-pocket maximum protection

No data available
No data available
No data available
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Parts A + B (Original Medicare)*

Hospital coverage

black checkmark icon

Visits to doctors and other health care professionals

black checkmark icon

Preventive care coverage

black checkmark icon

Prescription drug coverage

No data available

Coverage while traveling abroad

No data available

Coverage of routine dental services

No data available

Coverage of routine vision and hearing services

No data available

Fitness membership benefits

No data available

Out-of-pocket maximum protection

No data available

Parts A + B + D

Hospital coverage

black checkmark icon

Visits to doctors and other health care professionals

black checkmark icon

Preventive care coverage

black checkmark icon

Prescription drug coverage

black checkmark icon

Coverage while traveling abroad

No data available

Coverage of routine dental services

No data available

Coverage of routine vision and hearing services

No data available

Fitness membership benefits

No data available

Out-of-pocket maximum protection

No data available

Parts A + B + D + Medicare Supplement

Hospital coverage

black checkmark icon

Visits to doctors and other health care professionals

black checkmark icon

Preventive care coverage

black checkmark icon

Prescription drug coverage

black checkmark icon

Coverage while traveling abroad

black checkmark icon

Yes, with some Medicare Supplement plans 

Coverage of routine dental services

No data available

Coverage of routine vision and hearing services

No data available

Fitness membership benefits

No data available

Out-of-pocket maximum protection

No data available

Part C (Medicare Advantage)

Hospital coverage

black checkmark icon

Visits to doctors and other health care professionals

black checkmark icon

Preventive care coverage

black checkmark icon

Prescription drug coverage

black checkmark icon

Yes, in some plans

Coverage while traveling abroad

Some plans include emergency coverage abroad

Coverage of routine dental services

black checkmark icon

Yes, in some plans

Coverage of routine vision and hearing services

black checkmark icon

Yes, in some plans

Fitness membership benefits

black checkmark icon

Yes, in some plans

Out-of-pocket maximum protection

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 A quick guide to Medicare coverage combinations on the chart

  • Parts A and B: Also called Original Medicare, Part A covers services for hospital stays and similar inpatient procedures. And Part B includes coverage for doctor visits and other procedures that don’t require an overnight stay in the hospital.
  • Part C: Also called Medicare Advantage, Part C is made up of plans approved by Medicare. Private insurance companies offer these plans. Medicare Advantage plans usually include a network of health care providers. Some require you to use their network of providers while others allow you to go out-of-network, usually for a higher cost.
  • Part D: This part of Medicare provides prescription drug benefits.
  • Medicare Supplement plan: Private insurance companies provide these plans that work with Original Medicare. These plans help cover some of the costs associated with it.

A quick guide to benefits on the chart

  • Hospital coverage: Benefits for hospital stays and inpatient procedures.
  • Visits to doctors and other health care professionals: Coverage for seeing a health care professional as an outpatient.
  • Preventive care coverage: Benefits like annual physical exams, certain vaccines and some health screenings.
  • Prescription drug coverage: Benefits for prescription medication.
  • Coverage while traveling abroad: Benefits for medical care received outside the United States.
  • Dental coverage: Benefits for routine care for your teeth.
  • Vision coverage: Benefits for routine care for your eyesight.
  • Hearing coverage: Benefits for routine care for your hearing.
  • Fitness membership benefits: Benefits for gym or fitness club memberships.
  • Out-of-pocket maximum protection: A benefit that protects you from paying more than a certain amount for your covered medical care each year.

*  Medicare Parts A and B do not include prescription drug coverage, which is provided through Medicare Part D. You are not required to enroll in Medicare Part D. However, if you do not have prescription drug coverage through another plan and choose not to enroll in Part D when you first become eligible, you could end up paying a penalty for late enrollment if you decide to enroll in Part D later.  

Learn more about potential penalties

About the author

Mark Pabst has worked as a writer and researcher in the health care field for almost two decades. When not writing about health he tries to stay healthy through activities like hiking, climbing and paddling in the far flung corners of his native state of California. However, despite his best efforts he still has a few unhealthy habits he can’t shake, most notably a weakness for jelly donuts.

 

Disclaimers

Aetna Medicare is a PDP, HMO, PPO plan with a Medicare contract. Our SNPs also have contracts with State Medicaid programs. Enrollment in our plans depends on contract renewal.

See Evidence of Coverage for a complete description of plan benefits, exclusions, limitations and conditions of coverage. Plan features and availability may vary by service area.