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The A, B, C, Ds of Medicare – Original Medicare (Part A and Part B)
Original Medicare is a fee-for-service plan, which means you can go to any doctor, supplier, hospital or other facility that is enrolled in and accepts Medicare, and is accepting new Medicare patients.
Part A – Hospital Care
Once you turn 65, you are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A. Most citizens do not have to pay a premium for Part A because they or their spouse paid Medicare taxes while working.>
Part A is the hospital insurance portion of Medicare. This benefit covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care and some home health care.
If you don't automatically get premium-free Part A, you may be able to buy it if you (or your spouse):
- Are age 65 or older and entitled to (or are enrolling in) Part B and meet the citizenship or residency requirements.
- Are under age 65 and are disabled but no longer get premium-free Part A because you returned to work.
Part B – Medical Services
Part B is optional because you have to pay amonthly premium and satisfy a deductible before Medicare will pay benefits. The monthly premium is based on your income.
Part B provides many of the medically necessary services not covered in Part A. This includes coverage such as medical (doctor) services, outpatient care and other medical items. You'll also benefit from some covered preventive services.
Note: In some cases your premium may be higher if you didn't sign up for Part B when you first became eligible.
For more information about enrolling in Medicare Part B, visit www.medicare.gov on the web and view the booklet Enrolling in Medicare, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY/TDD users should call 1-877-486-2048.