Original Medicare: What it Does and Doesn’t Cover

Original Medicare includes two parts; A and B. The reason it is called Original Medicare is that Parts A and B used to be the only Medicare coverage available until they added Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D (prescription drugs) later on.


part a icon Medicare Part A helps pay for medically necessary care that requires a stay in the hospital or stays at skilled nursing facilities. It also covers hospice care for the terminally ill, and some skilled home health care.

Medicare Part A is free if you or your spouse have paid into Social Security for ten or more years. However, it does come with a deductible per hospital stay for each “benefit period.” This period begins when you are admitted to the hospital and ends when you have been out of the hospital for 60 days in a row. After that, what you pay changes depending on the length of your stay.



part b icon Medicare Part B helps pay for medical care including doctor office visits, lab tests and screenings, some skilled nursing care at home, as well as the doctor services you receive when you are in the hospital. Medicare Part B comes with a small deductible. You must also pay a monthly premium for Part B which increases based on your income.



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