What is Original Medicare?

by Steve Wilson · 0 comments

Just one of your many Medicare choices

Original Medicare is one of your health plan choices.

Original Medicare is a fee-for-service plan managed by the federal government. If you’ve signed up for Medicare Part A or Part B and you haven’t joined a Medicare Advantage plan, you have Original Medicare.

How does Original Medicare work?

  • Original Medicare is a fee-for-service plan managed by the federal government
  • In most cases, it is available to those 65 years of age or older, those with disabilities and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). If you or a member of your household does not qualify for Medicare, affordable health insurance coverage may be available to you.
  • If you have Medicare Part A, you get all the Part A-covered services; if you have Medicare Part B, you get all the Part B-covered services
  • You usually pay a monthly premium for Part B
  • You can go to any doctor or provider that accepts Medicare and is accepting new Medicare patients, or to any hospital or other facility.
  • You pay a set amount for your health care, called a deductible, before Medicare starts paying for your care.
  • In many cases, you also pay a part of the cost every time you use health services

Beyond Original Medicare

Original Medicare provides very basic coverage for medical expenses, so you’re still responsible for costs such as deductibles and coinsurance. If you’d like additional coverage for medical care, you have two options:

  • Medicare Advantage plans – These plans are an alternative to Original Medicare.  Medicare Advantage plans offer more benefits than Original Medicare and most Medicare Supplement plans. Many of the  Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage that’s the same or greater than Medicare’s standard.
  • Medicare Supplement plans – These plans are purchased in addition to Original Medicare. Medicare Supplement plans are designed to pay some of the costs that Medicare does not cover – for instance, deductibles and coinsurance. While these plans don’t include prescription drug coverage, you can purchase a separate Medicare prescription drug plan.

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