Original Medicare, also called “traditional” Medicare, is a program offered through the federal government. You can see any doctor who accepts Medicare, and the government helps pay for the health care services you receive.
Original Medicare consists of two parts. Medicare Parts A and B help cover different aspects of your health-related costs. The fees for your care are paid by Medicare directly to the doctors and hospitals you visit.
Part A – Hospital Insurance
One half of Original Medicare, Part A helps pay for medically necessary hospital care. It is also known as “premium-free Medicare” as most people pay no premium for this coverage.
- Helps cover the cost of inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care and some home health care services. Does not cover long term care, like nursing home care.
- Available at no cost to people who have worked, or whose spouse has worked, for at least 10 years and have paid Medicare taxes through their employer(s). Otherwise, there is a premium for this coverage.
Part B – Medical Insurance
Part B, the other half of Original Medicare, helps cover care received in doctors’ offices, outpatient care, as well as other medical services, like preventive services, that Part A doesn’t cover.
- There is a monthly premium for Part B coverage, based on income.
- Once you meet your deductible, Part B usually covers 80% of the cost of a service.