Older adults often want to know exactly what kind of coverage they can expect with Medicare Part A and Part B. Since most U.S. citizens who are 65 or older qualify for Original Medicare, it’s one of the most common forms of health insurance for retirees and Social Security beneficiaries. Fortunately, Original Medicare is relatively simple. It’s divided into two parts: Medicare Part A and Part B. What does Original Medicare cover? What’s the difference between Medicare Part A and Part B? Finally, how much do Parts A and B cost? We will answer all of these questions and more, but first, let’s breakdown the basics of Original Medicare.

The Basics of Original Medicare

Original Medicare is divided into two parts. The first part is Medicare Part A, which is often referred to as your “hospital” or “inpatient” coverage. The second part is Medicare Part B. Part B is also known as your “outpatient” coverage. Let’s take a closer look at each to see exactly what they cover:

Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A is designed to cover the majority of your expenses associated with hospital care and other inpatient services. The following list includes everything that Part A covers:

  • Inpatient care at a hospital
  • Inpatient care at a skilled nursing facility
  • Hospice care
  • Home healthcare
  • Operating room and recovery room services

While this should give you a general idea of Medicare Part A coverage, it doesn’t tell you everything you need to know. Generally, Medicare Part A covers all of the “medically necessary” services that you get as a patient in a medical facility. This can range from meals and medications to nursing services and wheelchairs during your stay. While Part A does cover some home healthcare costs, these are often limited to certain at-home therapies and nursing services.

Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B covers many of the medical expenses that you accrue outside of a hospital or medical clinic. The following list includes everything that Part B covers:

  • Doctor’s office visits
  • Outpatient care (services that do not require you to stay at a facility overnight)
  • Preventative care
  • Durable Medical Equipment (DME)
  • Ambulance services
  • Lab work and blood tests
  • Urgent care

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As you can see, Medicare Part B covers a lot of the expenses that Part A does not. If you need to visit a medical facility for treatment, but don’t need to stay overnight, this is treated as “outpatient care.” Thus, Part B will likely cover it.

Additionally, Part B covers regular doctor’s visits, some preventative care (like vaccines), services associated with emergency care, lab work, and medical equipment like walkers or oxygen tanks.

How Much Does Original Medicare Cost?

The cost of Original Medicare changes a little every year. However, as of July 2020, here’s what you can expect to pay:

  • Medicare Part A
  • Annual Deductible: $1,408
    • *Monthly Premium: $458
  • Medicare Part B
    • Annual Deductible: $198
    • Monthly Premium: $144.60

*Many older adults qualify for Premium-Free Part A coverage. However, if you don’t qualify, you will need to pay up to $458 in monthly premiums for Part A coverage.

Bottom Line

Original Medicare is designed to cover the majority of your basic healthcare costs. Part A covers most inpatient services, while Part B covers most outpatient services. That said, some people still require additional coverage, like Medicare Part D for prescription drug coverage or a Medigap plan. In any case, Original Medicare provides huge savings on most of your medical needs.

If you’d like to learn more about Original Medicare and the differences between Medicare Part A and Part B, feel free to click here or give us a call anytime. Our licensed agents are focused on giving you the information you need, with zero pressure to enroll in a plan.