Medicare Part A and Part B, often called Original Medicare, are managed by the federal government. Most individuals who receive Social Security benefits are automatically enrolled in Original Medicare while others need to apply for it as they approach their 65th birthday.
You can use any doctor, health care provider, hospital or other facility that accepts Medicare patients anywhere in the U.S. You will not need to choose a primary care doctor and, in most cases, will not need a referral to see a specialist.
Medicare Part A
Medicare Part A covers inpatient care provided in hospitals or skilled nursing facilities, home health care and hospice care for the terminally ill.
Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B covers doctor visits, outpatient care, home health services, durable medical equipment, mental health services, and other medical services. Part B also covers many preventive services like wellness visits, flu shots and mammograms for women.
Not covered by Original Medicare:
- Dental exams, most dental care, or dentures
- Routine eye exams, eyeglasses, or contacts
- Hearing aids or related exams and services
- Most care while traveling outside the United States
- Help with bathing, dressing, eating, etc. (custodial care)
- Most chiropractic services
- Routine foot care
- Prescription drugs