Understanding Medicare

Original Medicare is the traditional fee-for-service program offered directly through the federal government. It is sometimes called Traditional Medicare or Fee-for-Service Medicare. Medicare was signed into law by President Johnson on July 30,1965 in Independence, MO, but beneficiaries were first able to sign-up for the program on July 1, 1966.

Under Original Medicare, the government pays directly for the health care services you receive. You can see any doctor and hospital that takes Original Medicare (and most do) anywhere in the country. Medicare Part A and B have premiums that Centers of Medicare Service (CMS) will inform you of your cost. Part A generally has a $0 cost, but some do pay. If you are a higher income earner you may pay more premium for your Part B and Part D. In Original Medicare:

  • You go directly to the doctor or hospital when you think you need care. You do not need to get prior permission/authorization from Medicare or your primary care doctor.
  • You typically pay a coinsurance for each service you receive.
  • There are limits on the amounts doctors and hospitals can charge for your care.
  • Original Medicare includes:

    • Part A (Inpatient/Hospital coverage)
    • Part B (Outpatient/Medical coverage)

Medicare Plan

Medicare Supplements or Medigap plans are available to fill these all or some of the holes in original Medicare.

If you want Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) with Original Medicare, in most cases you will need to actively choose and join a stand-alone Medicare private drug plan (PDP).

Unless you choose otherwise, you will have Original Medicare. Instead of Original Medicare, you can decide to get your Medicare benefits from a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C), also called a Medicare private health plan. Remember, you still have Medicare if you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan. This means that you must still pay your monthly Part B premium (and your Part A premium, if you have one). Each Medicare Advantage Plan must provide all Part A and Part B services covered by Original Medicare, but can do so with different rules, costs, and restrictions that can affect how and when you receive care.

Types of Medicare Plans

Medicare Supplement Insurance


Medicare Supplements can help pay for the things traditional Medicare doesn’t. Medicare Supplemental Plans are standardized and are identified in most states by letters.

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Medicare Prescription Drug

Stand Alone Prescription Drug
(Part D)

Medicare Part D plans may help you save on the cost of your prescriptions and by having predictable drug costs this will help you manage your health care budget.

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Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage plans
(Part C)

Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans are run by private insurance companies and combine Medicare Parts A (hospital coverage) and B (doctor coverage) plus additional benefits.

Learn more

Find the right plan for you

You don’t have to be a Medicare expert to find coverage that fits your needs. Just answer a few questions, and we’ll help simplify the process and give you options to choose from. Or you can explore coverage options on your own.

Medicare Updates

Read our latest news from the company or general medical news. Feel free to ask questions in comments for any news you find interesting.

  • Medicare-Prescription-Drug

What Is the Difference Between Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans F, G, and N?

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance plans are offered by private insurance companies and can help you pay for out-of-pocket costs for services covered under Original Medicare. Medicare Supplement plans are standardized in most states. What does this mean for you? All Plan Plans must cover Original Medicare gaps the exact same way. A Plan G is a Plan G now matter the carrier concerning coverage.