What is Original Medicare (Parts A & B)?

In One Sentence

Original Medicare (Parts A and B) is government insurance covering medical and hospital costs for seniors and those with certain disabilities or illnesses.

The Basics

Medicare is health insurance that the government offers to those who turn 65 or those with certain disabilities or illnesses. Since Parts A and B have been around the longest, they’re sometimes called “Original” or “Traditional” Medicare. Part A covers hospitalization, and Part B covers medical costs. With a few exceptions, this coverage only applies in the United States and its territories. The government pays some of the bill for Part A and B services, and Medicare members pay the rest. Some individuals have only one part of Medicare - usually Part A if they’re still working - but most have both. Those who go without Part B after they are first eligible but don’t have other insurance through an employer can pay a penalty if they enroll in Part B later.  

Check out Pelorus advisor Josh Sprague’s introduction to the different parts of Medicare by clicking the image below or read our "Deep Dive" on Original Medicare.