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If you’re newly eligible for Medicare, you’re probably wondering what exactly Original Medicare is. Maybe you’re preparing to retire, or you’re about to celebrate your 65th birthday; either way, you’ll need to make decisions about your Medicare. Not only are there dozens of plans and coverage types, but Medicare has strange terminology. Below we provide you with the information needed to understand what Original Medicare is and how your benefits work.
What is Original Medicare
Original Medicare provides healthcare coverage to eligible beneficiaries for both inpatient and outpatient services. Original Medicare is a fee-for-service plan that’s managed by the federal government.
Part A vs Part B
First, let’s discuss the first part. Part A is your inpatient coverage. So, a hospital visit or hospice care would fall under Part A.
Many people get premium-free Part A, but some pay for this coverage. The premium depends on the amount of time you contribute to Medicare taxes.
Medicare only covers Part A services at 80% after you meet the deductible. A new benefit period starts when you’ve been out of an inpatient facility for 60 days or more.
Part B is the outpatient portion of Medicare. While Part A is premium-free, Part B has a monthly premium based on income.
For outpatient services, Medicare covers 80% after you meet the annual deductible. The Part B deductible is a once per year amount.
What are the Qualifications for Medicare
How to Enroll in Original Medicare
There are several ways to sign up for Medicare. Oddly enough, you’ll be enrolling in Medicare through Social Security. To apply for Medicare by phone, call Social Security’s main phone number. Then, schedule an interview. Also, you can apply online at any time through the Social Security website.
Generally, you can pick one of these three periods to enroll:
- Initial Enrollment Period: occurs around the age of 65
- Special Enrollment Period: Those that delay enrollment past age 65 with employer health coverage or changes in coverage.
- General Enrollment Period: Runs from January 1st to March 31st annually, during this time you may sign up if you didn’t do so when you should’ve. Delaying Part B enrollment will result in a late enrollment penalty.
Anyone outside of a Medicare enrollment period, you may need to wait until the General Enrollment Period comes back around. For people that delay enrollment, Medicare costs can be higher due to penalties.
Understanding Medicare Premiums
Many people think that Medicare is free, yet, you’ll likely pay a monthly premium for coverage. But, Part A is free for most people.
Most people pay a standard premium for Part B. But, you may pay more if your income is above a certain amount.
The cost of Medicare depends on your specific situation; income, plan choice, and applicable late enrollment fees.
Common Questions About Original Medicare
How to Get Help Understanding Original Medicare
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Instead, give our agents a call at the number above. Then, you’ll see why many seniors trust us with their insurance needs. We have your back long after enrollment. Our Client Care Team commits to making sure our customers have good experiences for years to come.
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