Original Medicare, or Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, is designed to cover the basics of your health care – things like hospitals, outpatient doctor visits, tests and preventive care.
Costs Associated with Original Medicare
With Original Medicare, you pay a set amount for your health care, called a deductible, before Medicare pays its share. Then, Medicare pays its share and you pay a percentage of the cost of the service, called coinsurance. There is no limit on what you can pay out of pocket, so if you have a lot of healthcare bills, your personal costs can add up.
You also have to pay a monthly premium for your Part B (Medical Insurance) costs. Most people pay $121.80 each month. This amount is automatically deducted from your Social Security benefit payment.
It is important to remember that if you choose to purchase either a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan or to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you still pay your Part B premium.
Some plans charge an additional premium for their Medicare Advantage plan, meaning that you pay both your Part B premium and your private insurance plan’s premium each month. With Memorial Hermann Advantage plans, there is no monthly plan premium, so you only have to pay your required Part B premium every month.
Original Medicare: Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)
Part A (Hospital Insurance) primarily covers inpatient costs. In general, Part A covers:
- Hospital care
- Skilled nursing facility care
- Nursing home care (as long as custodial care isn't the only care you need)
- Home health services
Original Medicare: Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)
Part B (Medical Insurance) mainly covers two types of services: medically necessary services, which include services and supplies used to diagnose or treat your medical condition, and preventive services, such as flu shots.
Here are examples of what Medicare Part B covers:
- Doctor visits
- Clinical research
- Ambulance services
- Durable medical equipment
- Mental health care
- Getting a second opinion before surgery
- Limited outpatient prescription drugs
Announced in February 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final national coverage determination that provides for Medicare coverage of Screening for Lung Cancer with Low Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT). Medicare will now cover lung cancer screening with LDCT once per year for Medicare beneficiaries who meet certain criteria. Read the announcement.
What Original Medicare Doesn't Cover
You should be aware that Original Medicare may not cover all of your health care needs. Here are examples of a few benefits that are not covered by Original Medicare but may be covered by private health insurance:
- Prescription drugs
- Long-term care (also called custodial care)
- Hearing aids and exams for fitting them
- Annual vision examinations
- Attendant care
What if Original Medicare Isn't Enough?
If you choose Original Medicare, you may realize that some of the health care services you need are not covered, meaning that you have to either purchase a supplemental plan or pay for those services 100 percent out-of-pocket. You may also find that the deductible and coinsurance you have to pay for necessary services is more than you can afford.
To help lower these costs and pay for the health care services that Original Medicare does not cover, many people choose to either enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan (also known as Medicare Part C) or purchase a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan.
Memorial Hermann Advantage offers Medicare Advantage plans that provide you with all of your Part A and Part B coverage, plus you'll get additional benefits like:
- $0 monthly premiums and deductibles
- Maximums on out-of-pocket costs
- Prescription drug coverage
- Hearing aids
You'll also gain access to a network of some of the best hospitals not only in Texas, but also in the entire nation, as well as award-winning, quality health care.
You can learn more about the extra benefits you get by talking to a Memorial Hermann Advantage customer representative at (877) 258-9408 (TTY 711) or attend one of our free Medicare Advantage seminars in your area.
View additional benefits offered in Memorial Hermann's Medicare Advantage plans.
Medicare Part C >