BASIC (“ORIGINAL”) MEDICARE provides you with a combination of in-patient hospital (Part A) and out-patient (Part B) medical benefits. In each benefit area there are deductibles and co-insurance that change annually and can require out-of-pocket costs with no limits. These costs represent what you will have to pay if you are “self-insuring” against potentially devastating medical expenses.
Since most providers of medical services accept Medicare, this kind of plan operates like a fee-for-service plan where you can access care throughout the United States.
Most Medicare participants (known as “beneficiaries”) receive Part A benefits without paying a premium; Part B benefits, however, require a monthly premium (in 2020 it begins at $144.60). This premium, however, can increase in relation to a participant’s higher income level. Follow this link to see Basic Medicare’s features and costs: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/2020-medicare-parts-b-premiums-and-deductibles.
In addition to having substantial financial risks, the Basic Plan does not include any drug benefits. As a result, most seniors add a prescription drug plan (called Part D of Medicare) to minimize the risks of medication expenses. Click here for more information.