Original Medicare is the program offered directly through the federal government. It is sometimes called Traditional Medicare or Fee-for-Service Medicare. Original Medicare will cover your “Part A” Inpatient/ Hospital coverage and “Part B” Outpatient/ Medical coverage. Original Medicare does have deductibles and after deductibles are met, these plans typically will pay 80/20. Due to Medicare only covering about 80/20 many people decide to pick choose a Supplement plan (sometimes called “Medigap” plan) to help cover those deductibles and out of pocket costs.
Medicare Supplement plans are standardized and are lettered plans A-N. This means plan A or plan F is the same no matter what company you choose. Supplement or Medigap plans are designed to fill in the "gaps" in coverage left behind by Original Medicare Part A and Part B, such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. Supplement plans do not include prescription coverage so you will want to keep that in mind when making your decision and decide if you want to add a pharmacy plan to your supplement. Keep in mind you also can not have a Supplement and Medicare Advantage plan at the same time.
Original Medicare & Supplements provide:
- Nationwide coverage. Some plans even offer some foreign travel emergency coverage.
- Year-round enrollment. You can purchase Medicare Supplement plans all year there is not an open enrollment. **Although you may be subject to a medical history review and may be declined benefits.
- Standardized plans. “Plan A” or “Plan F” will generally cover the same things as any other Medicare Supplement “Plan A” or “Plan F,” no matter which insurance company offers it.