Medicare coverage is divided into four parts:
- Medicare Part A covers hospital and inpatient care
- Medicare Part B covers doctor visits and other outpatient care. Under Parts A and B, you can get care from just about any hospital or doctor you choose.
- Medicare Part C gives you an option to sign up for private managed care plans that cover all Medicare services and sometimes provides extra benefits, but these plans limit the providers you can see.
- Medicare Part D is a separate program that just covers prescription drugs that might be used at home.
Anyone eligible for Medicare Part A (whether actually enrolled or not) or who is currently enrolled in Medicare Part B may join Medicare Part D to help pay prescription drug costs. Enrollment is voluntary except for people who also receive benefits from Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California).