Ask a PAL

PALs are your Personal Assistant Liaisons with Shared Health Mississippi. We’re here to answer your questions and guide you through your healthcare journey.

Know Your ABC’s of Medicare

Dear PAL,

I don’t understand the difference between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans. Can you help?



Dear Gene,

These can be tricky! Let’s use our ABCs of Medicare to break it down and find out what these Medicare plans offer.

There are a few ways to get Medicare coverage:

  • Original Medicare (Parts A and B) – Original Medicare is managed by the federal government.
  • Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D)
  • Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C)

Part A is hospital insurance. It covers things like inpatient care in a hospital, hospice care, limited stays in a nursing facility, and some home health care. Most people don’t pay a premium for Part A coverage because they paid Medicare taxes while working.

Part B is medical insurance and covers expenses like doctor’s services, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, and some preventive services and prescriptions. Part B is optional and includes a monthly premium.

Part D helps cover prescription drug costs if you have Medicare Part A and Part B. Private insurance companies offer these supplemental plans to help limit some of your drug costs, but prices may vary.

Part C is a Medicare Advantage Plan offered by private insurance companies. Medicare Advantage Plans usually combine hospital, medical and prescription drug coverage into one health plan. There are special Medicare Advantage Plans for people who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. These are called Dual Special Needs Plans.

Shared Health Dual Plus (HMO D-SNP)SM offered by Shared Health Mississippi is a Dual Special Needs Plan. It is a $0 premium plan that helps you get the most out of Medicare and Medicaid programs. And it gives you more of the things you really need – like dental care and an allowance for over-the-counter (OTC) items and healthy food.*

In a nutshell, Medicare coverage doesn’t need to be complicated. You have options, and we’re here to help if you have questions. Ready to learn more? Give us a call at 1-855-890-1234, TTY 711.


The PALs at Shared Health Mississippi

*The allowance for healthy food mentioned is part of a special supplemental program for the chronically ill. Not all members qualify.

H3015_22CIRAAP2_C (07/22)

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