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Senior Resources » What is Original Medicare?

What is Original Medicare?

Understanding the basics of Medicare Part A and B can help you navigate your healthcare options more effectively. While it might seem complicated at first glance, knowing what each part covers is the first step in ensuring you’re getting the most out of your healthcare coverage. Watch this video to learn the basics of Original Medicare that you need to know.

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Understanding Medicare: Breaking Down Parts A and B

Medicare, the federal health insurance program in the United States, is an important part of healthcare for seniors over 65 or with certain disabilities. It consists of various parts, each designed to cover specific aspects of healthcare. In this video, we focus on Medicare Part A and Part B, which are often referred to as Original Medicare.

Medicare Part A: Hospital Insurance

original medicare - part a

Part A of Medicare is your inpatient hospital care coverage. This is where the money deducted from your paycheck goes to fund. It’s not just about hospital stays, though. Part A also covers hospice and home health care services.

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In essence, Part A is like an insurance safety net for when you need to be admitted to a hospital, skilled nursing facility, or require hospice care. It’s designed to help mitigate the high costs that can come with intensive medical care.

Medicare Part B: Medical Insurance

original medicare - part b

On the other hand, Medicare Part B is like gold – it’s an essential part of your healthcare coverage. It carries a premium, which is based not on your current income but on what you earned two years prior to signing up for Medicare.

Part B covers a wide range of medical services including those provided by your doctor, outpatient surgery, MRIs, CAT scans, sonograms, chemotherapy, radiation, and preventative care. Not having Part B means you would have to pay 100% out-of-pocket for these services, which is why it’s so crucial to sign up for it.

It’s important to note that while Medicare Part B does cover many services, it doesn’t cover everything. Medicare picks up 80% of the cost once you’ve met your deductible, leaving you responsible for 20% of the cost. That’s where a Medicare Supplement plan (also known as Medigap) or a Medicare Advantage plan comes in. These plans can help cover the costs that Original Medicare doesn’t, providing you with more comprehensive coverage.

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Originally published February 19, 2024

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