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Medicare started with two parts — Part A and Part B, also known as Original Medicare.

Medicare Part A and Part B are often called Original Medicare. Medicare is the federal government’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. People under age 65 can qualify for Medicare too, if they have certain conditions or disabilities. Created in 1965, Medicare started with just Part A and Part B. Later on, Medicare Advantage plans (also called Part C) and Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage were added as people’s needs changed. Unlike Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans are private health plans sold by companies like Florida Blue.  

What does Original Medicare cover?

Part A

Medicare Part A covers inpatient care, which includes:

  • Hospital care

  • Skilled nursing facility care 

  • Short-term nursing home care

  • Hospice care

  • Home health care services, in limited circumstances

  • Cost: For most people, Part A has no monthly premium cost. You pay a deductible and out-of-pocket expenses, like copays, with Part A. Some people also choose to get a Medicare Supplement policy to help pay the costs Original Medicare does not cover. 

Part B

Medicare Part B covers many outpatient services and supplies, which includes:

  • Doctor’s visits

  • Some preventive care

  • Laboratory tests

  • Mental health

  • Durable medical equipment (DME)

  • Ambulance services

  • Cost: Part B usually has a monthly premium cost. For most services, you pay a yearly deductible and coinsurance for your care with Part B. Some people also choose to get a Medicare Supplement policy to help pay the costs Original Medicare does not cover.

However, Original Medicare doesn't cover the costs of certain health care services.

Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does NOT cover:

Prescription drugs

Dental exams, most dental care, or dentures

Routine eye exams, eyeglasses, or contacts

Hearing aids or hearing-related exams or services

Most care while traveling outside the United States

Chiropractic* care, acupuncture** or other alternative treatments

Part A and Part B deductibles and copays

*Medicare Part B only covers chiropractic services if medically necessary to correct a subluxation.
**Medicare Part B only covers acupuncture for chronic low back pain.

At Florida Blue, our goal is to connect you with better health solutions—like plans that cover what Original Medicare doesn’t.

Additional coverage to help pay for certain services and expenses not covered by Original Medicare are available from Medicare-approved private companies like Florida Blue.

What does Original Medicare cost?

Original Medicare helps pay for many health care services and expenses, like doctor’s visits and hospital stays. But you will share some of these costs by paying deductibles, copayments and coinsurance. Your costs will vary depending on the health care and health services you receive. Also, you may have to pay a monthly cost, called a premium, for your coverage. Typically, only Medicare Part B has a monthly premium.

Your Original Medicare costs may include:

  • Premium: A fixed, monthly amount you pay for your health insurance plan coverage.
  • Deductible: The amount you pay before your health insurance plan begins to pay its share of the cost.
  • Copayment (Copay): A flat dollar amount (for example, $10) you pay each time you receive care.
  • Coinsurance: A percentage (for example, 10%) you pay for your care after you meet your deductible.

Call a licensed Medicare agent.
(TTY 1-800-955-8770)

Shop for Medicare plans in your area.

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Download a Medicare education guide.

Medicare Basics Guide

Florida Blue provides the information you need to choose the Medicare plan with health solutions that help meet your needs and budget.

Medicare Basics Guide

Medicare & You

U.S. government handbook on Medicare benefits, rights, and protections, available health plans, and more.

Medicare and You Guide

Medicare Planning Checklist

Florida Blue is with you all the way, providing a checklist with the steps you need to get started with Medicare as you approach age 65. 

Get Ready for Medicare

U.S. government handbook explaining important decisions you need to make before Medicare coverage starts.

FBM EDU 203 F 122022
Last Updated: 10.01.2023