You do not have to enroll in all four parts of the Medicare program. Which parts you choose to enroll in is up to you. Remember that the first two parts of Medicare, Part A and Part B, are known collectively as Original Medicare. Below, you will find a summary of these programs.
Medicare Part A: You will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A when you apply for Medicare. This first part of Medicare includes coverage for: hospital stays, hospice care and certain skilled care that you receive in a nursing home or rehab center
If you have worked and paid taxes for long enough you will not have to pay a premium for Part A but you will have to pay a deductible if you are admitted to the hospital.
In 2023, the deductible amount was $1,600.
Medicare Part B: The second part of Medicare covers:
- Doctor’s appointments
- Lab Tests
- Diagnostic screenings
- Medical equipment
- Other outpatient services
Part B of Medicare involves more costs than Part A so if you are not yet retired and are receiving insurance through your job or your spouse’s place of work, you might want to wait to sign up for this part of Medicare.
However, if you sign up for Part B later you may pay heftier premiums than you would have if you opted into Part B during your original enrollment period.
It is important to know about all four different types of Medicare coverage so that you can make an informed decision about which parts of Medicare are right for you. Read onwards to learn about Medicare Part C & D.