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What do we mean by 'Original' Medicare?
Medicare Parts A and B, together often colloquially known as Original Medicare or Straight Medicare, are the direct government insurance most people think of when they think of Medicare. Together they provide hospitalization and medical services coverage, including doctor's visits, screenings, emergency room care, surgery, medical supplies and equipment, home care, skilled nursing care, hospital inpatient costs and hospice care.
Who is eligible and how much does it cost?
For Parts A and B, anyone 65 and older who is entitled to Social Security is eligible (those who are disabled and have been on Social Security for 24 months are also eligible). Those not eligible for Part A (meaning those individuals or spouses who have not paid into Social Security for at least 40 quarters) can buy-in to Part A (in 2013) for $243 a month (for those with 30-39 quarters) or $441 a month for all others in.