Medicare 101

What is Medicare

Medicare is health insurance for:
  • People age 65 or older
  • People under age 65 with certain disabilities
  • People of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant)

Medicare has four parts: Parts A and B – often referred to as original Medicare; Part C – Medicare Advantage; and Part D – Prescription Drug Coverage.

To supplement Parts A and B, the federal government created standards for supplemental plans, which means every insurance company you review is offering the same supplemental products.

The difference? Service, reliability and the number and quality of doctors available to you.

See why Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska is the smart choice.


Part A: Hospital Insurance

  • Helps cover hospital, skilled nursing facility, hospice care and home health care
  • No premium for most people
  • Deductibles and copayments apply

Get more information from the federal government about original Medicare Part A coverage.

Medicare doesn’t pay for everything. Strengthen your coverage with Medicare supplements.


Part B: Medical Insurance

  • Helps cover doctor services, outpatient care, durable medical equipment (DME) and some preventive services
  • There are monthly premiums
  • Enrollment is optional

Get more information from the government about original Medicare Part B coverage.

Medicare doesn’t pay for everything. Strengthen your coverage with Medicare supplements.


Part C: Medicare Advantage

Some private companies provide services that include Medicare Parts A and B, plus may cover some additional services such as vision, hearing, dental and certain health/wellness programs. Most Medicare Advantage plans offer prescription drug coverage.

Get more information from the government about your original Medicare Part C coverage.

See Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska Medicare Advantage Plans.


Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage

Original Medicare doesn’t generally cover prescription drugs; therefore, most people supplement with a prescription drug plan.

  • You’re eligible if you are entitled to Part A and/or enrolled in Part B
  • Monthly premiums apply and you must continue to pay your Part B premium
  • Enrollment is optional, but a late enrollment penalty may apply in certain circumstances
  • Copayments, deductibles and coinsurance may apply
  • Covers many outpatient prescription medications
  • Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs
  • May help lower your prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future

Get more information from the government about Medicare Part D coverage.

Original Medicare doesn’t generally pay for prescription drugs. MedicareBlue Rx (PDP) does. See what we have for you.