Medicare Parts Explained | Occupational Therapy Reference

There are 4 parts to Medicare: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D.

Part A (Hospital Insurance)

Admitted starts with the letter A, as in admitted to the hospital, SNF, etc.

  • Inpatient hospital care
  • Skilled nursing facility care
  • Hospice care
  • Home health care

Part B (Medical Insurance)

Benefits starts with the letter B, as in medical benefits.

  • Services from doctors and other healthcare providers
  • Outpatient care
  • Home health care
  • Durable medical equipment (e.g., wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds)
  • Preventive services (e.g., screenings, vaccinations, wellness visits)

Part C

  • Medicare Advantage: Medicare obtained through a private health insurance company, e.g., Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Aetna
  • Offers an alternative to Original Medicare for your health and drug coverage.
  • May offer some extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover — like vision, hearing, and dental services.
  • May have lower out-of-pocket costs than Original Medicare.
  • “Bundled” plans include Part A, Part B, and usually Part D.
  • Need to use doctors who are in the plan’s network.

Part D (Drug Coverage)

  • Prescription drug coverage (Drug starts with the letter D.)
  • Recommended shots or vaccines

Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap)

  • Extra insurance you can buy from a private company that helps pay your share of costs in original Medicare.
  • Policies are standardized, and in most states named by letters, like Plan G or Plan K.
  • Benefits in each lettered plan are the same, no matter which insurance company sells it.


Jeff is a licensed occupational therapist and lead content creator for OT Dude. He covers all things occupational therapy as well as other topics including healthcare, wellness, mental health, technology, science, sociology, and philosophy. Buy me a Coffee on Venmo.