Vertex Planning Partners / Planning, Retirement / August 16, 2021

With its four distinct parts, Medicare can be an alphabet soup of complexity. We provide an overview of the various components and how they impact your healthcare costs.

Medicare is available to virtually all U.S. citizens and legal residents 65 years of age and over who have previously worked and paid U.S. taxes or who are/were married to someone who did.  There are four key parts to Medicare — Parts A, B, C, and D. To maximize coverage and benefits, it is critical to understand the features of each.

Medicare Parts A and B are referred to as Original Medicare

Medicare Part A: Hospital Insurance

This insurance helps cover hospital stays and skilled nursing care after a hospital care. It may even help cover hospice care and professional care for the homebound. As long as you or your spouse have made contributions to Social Security for at least 10 years, you will not pay a premium for Part A. However, if you haven’t paid contributions, you will pay a monthly premium. Other features include:

Medicare Part B: Medical Insurance

This insurance covers doctor visits and other medical services, such as outpatient care at hospitals, laboratory tests, and some nursing care. Key features of Part B coverage include:

Medicare Part C: Medicare Advantage (private)

These plans are offered by private insurance companies and pay for certain hospital costs, doctor visits and other services. Part D coverage may also be included in these plans.

Medicare Part D: Prescription Drugs

Plan D applies to prescription drug coverage and is sold by private insurance companies. Coverage varies according to plan, with pricing options that can be complex.

Medicare details are confusing and complex. Check with your financial professional for guidance.

For the most up-to-date information, visit the Medicare website (


This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal.

This material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC.