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Medicare Open Enrollment: Understanding the Parts of Medicare

For qualified consumers, the Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP), or commonly-known as “open enrollment”, kicks off on Friday, October 15th and runs through Tuesday, December 7th. During this timeframe, Medicare-eligible participants can make changes to their 2022 Medicare selections for coverage – and newly eligible consumers can start their Medicare coverage.

For those new to Medicare, AIP Marketing Alliance has established Senior Health Shop as a free resource designed to help local Oakland County Michigan residents as well as seniors nationwide. The Senior Health Shop team can review your 2021 selections, explain 2022’s changes, and quote multiple carriers for your specific zip code. You can call (833) 278-0330 or email Kaye Dickston at

If you are new to Medicare, AIPMA and SHS wanted to explain a few of the main parts of Medicare as explained at’s website.

  • Part A (Hospital Insurance): Helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and home health care
  • Part B (Medical Insurance): Helps cover: services from doctors and other health care providers; outpatient care; home health care; durable medical equipment (like wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, and other equipment); and many preventive services (like screenings, shots or vaccines, and yearly “Wellness” visits)
  • Part D (Drug coverage): Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs (including many recommended shots or vaccines). You join a Medicare drug plan in addition to Original Medicare, or you get it by joining a Medicare Advantage Plan with drug coverage. Plans that offer Medicare drug coverage are run by private insurance companies that follow rules set by Medicare.
  • 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. The benefits in each lettered plan are the same, no matter which insurance company sells it.

When you first sign up for Medicare and during certain times of the year, you can choose which way to get your Medicare coverage through two main ways:

  • Original Medicare includes Part A and Part B. You can join a separate Medicare drug plan to get Medicare drug coverage (Part D). You can use any doctor or hospital that takes Medicare, anywhere in the U.S. To help pay your out-of-pocket costs in Original Medicare (like your 20% coinsurance), you can also buy supplemental coverage, like Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap), or have coverage from a former employer or union, or Medicaid.
  • Medicare Advantage (also known as Part C): Medicare Advantage is a Medicare-approved plan from a private company that offers an alternative to Original Medicare for your health and drug coverage. These “bundled” plans include Part A, Part B, and usually Part D. In most cases, you’ll need to use doctors who are in the plan’s network. Plans may have lower out-of-pocket costs than Original Medicare. Plans may offer some extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover — like vision, hearing, and dental services.

Sometimes, the “alphabet” of parts available through Medicare can be confusing. Every person’s situation is different, so Senior Health Shop recommends contacting our staff to ask questions, explain your healthcare and prescription drug needs, and then review potential 2022 options that best fit your lifestyle.

You can call (833) 278-0330 or email Kaye Dickston at to schedule an in-person, phone, or virtual appointment to discuss your 2022 Medicare options.

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