Original Medicare is the federal component of Medicare, which is split into two parts.
Part A (Hospital Insurance) covers inpatient services, like hospital care, hospice care, and nursing home care (as long as custodial care isn’t the only care needed).
Part B (Medical Insurance) covers outpatient services, like ambulance services and mental health care, and durable medical equipment, like walkers, canes, blood sugar monitors. Part B can also cover some preventive services, like flu shots, cardiovascular screenings, and diabetes screenings. Unlike Part A, you will not be automatically enrolled in Part B when you reach 65. You will need to enroll in Part B if you want it.
It’s important to note that Original Medicare doesn’t cover everything. Services and supplies generally not covered by Original Medicare include:
- Long-term care (custodial care)
- Most outpatient prescription drugs
- Hearing aids
- Eye exams and eyeglasses
- Most dental care and dentures
- Routine foot care
- Cosmetic surgery
Original Medicare isn’t designed to cover 100% of your medical bills and Medicare beneficiaries still pay a portion of their healthcare costs through coinsurance, deductibles and copays. However, Medicare beneficiaries in California can choose to enroll in another plan to increase coverage.