Having Medicare in Pennsylvania can help you get the coverage you need for a crisis or medical necessity, but it may not cover everything. Supplemental care, copays, prescriptions and the like may require additional steps.

As the Pennsylvania Insurance Department explains, Medicare comes in several parts, and most insured persons have Parts A and B in their coverage package, but you may need to purchase additional coverage separately or find a plan that includes it. Understanding what the Medicare parts mean can help you decide what coverage to get.

Parts A and B Medicare

Parts A and B Medicare are a part of a basic Medicare plan, or “Original Medicare.” You will typically not have to pay extra for Part A coverage as long as you have 10 or more years of eligible work. This Medicare will cover your emergency needs such as hospital or facility stays, and in-home care and hospice.

To cover other needs like doctor’s visits, preventative services and equipment, you will need Part B Medicare. While Part A Medicare is free, Part B typically requires additional fees that you would pay into your plan.

Part C Medicare

Part A and Part B Medicare can cover your basic health care needs, but if you have costly copays, deductibles or similar expenses, you may need either Medicare supplement insurance or Part C Medicare.

Medicare supplement insurance is additional private insurance that you may acquire on top of your Original Medicare plan. If you choose Part C Medicare instead, you may combine your Parts A and B Medicare coverage with supplemental insurance under a private insurer. In other words, the private insurance company receives your Medicare funds in exchange for coverage and then charges you an additional fee to extend it.

Part D Medicare

Part D Medicare can further extend your coverage to pay for prescriptions. In most cases, you would need to purchase these plans separately unless your private insurer offers a package that includes it with your other coverage.