Original Medicare is the federal component of Medicare and has two parts:
Part A (Hospital Insurance) covers inpatient services, like hospital care, hospice, skilled nursing facility care, and nursing home care (as long as custodial care isn’t the only care needed).
Part B (Medical Insurance) covers outpatient services and supplies, like mental health care, ambulance services, and durable medical equipment (e.g., canes, blood sugar monitors, and walkers). Part B also covers some services that prevent or detect illnesses at an early stage, like flu shots, cardiovascular screenings, and diabetes screenings.
Original Medicare doesn’t cover everything. Services 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
For this reason, there is a variety of Medicare plans available through Medicare-approved private insurance companies for more comprehensive coverage.