Original Medicare

What is Original Medicare?

Hi, you may be wondering, what is Original Medicare? Original Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people age 65 or older. Or, people who are under 65 with certain disabilities or conditions like end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS). Original Medicare consists of Part A and Part B.

Part A is called hospital insurance, which covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and home health care. Part A is premium free for most individuals who worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years or 40 quarters. Part B is called medical insurance, which covers outpatient medical care like doctor's visits, diagnostic tests, and preventive services. And, Part B covers certain medical equipment and supplies like wheelchairs and walkers. There is a Part B monthly premium that is generally taken from your Social Security benefits.

Original Medicare does not cover everything, and individuals may have out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. It also does not cover prescription drugs, and individuals must enroll in a separate Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to receive coverage. A major advantage to Original Medicare is most healthcare providers accept it, which includes hospitals, doctors, and other medical professionals. But, Original Medicare does not have a maximum out-of-pocket limit and people need to pay a significant amount for their medical expenses, if they have high medical bills.

To supplement Original Medicare, people can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or purchase a Medicare Supplement plan. Medicare Supplement plans are also called Medigap plans. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies and an alternative to Original Medicare. Medigap plans cover the out-of-pocket costs of Original Medicare.

So, Original Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people 65 or older and for individuals who are under 65 with certain disabilities or conditions. Original Medicare consists of Part A that covers inpatient hospital care and Part B that covers outpatient medical care. Original Medicare does not cover everything, there is no maximum out-of-pocket limit, and people may have to pay a high amount for the cost of care.

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