The Pros and Cons of using Original Medicare Only

What does it cover?

Original Medicare consists of Part A (hospital insurance), and Part B (doctor and outpatient services).

If you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working, chances are you won’t pay a premium for part A. Most people don’t.

Medicare Part B requires a monthly premium. If you are new to Medicare in 2010, your Part B premium will most likely be $110.50.

If you are already receiving Social Security when you turn 65, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A and B. Benefits will start the 1st day of the month you turn 65.

If you are not receiving Social Security yet at the time you turn 65 (for example you are still working), you must sign up for Medicare Part A and B. Contact Social Security 3 months before you turn 65.

For more information visit www.Medicare.gov, or check out the publication Medicare & You 2010.

Some people decide to have Medicare only, without a supplement.

    Pros:
  • No extra monthly premium aside from part B
  • Access to most hospitals and doctors (as long as they accept Medicare).
  • Not restricted to plan networks.
  • No requirement to get a referral every time you want to see a specialist.

    Cons:
  • There are certain deductibles and copays you will be responsible for if you get sick or are hospitalized.
  • You will be responsible for 20% of all doctor and outpatient expenses. There is no annual cap on this amount.

What about Part D? (prescription drug coverage)

Medicare Part D is the part of Medicare that covers prescriptions, however it must be purchased through a private insurance company.

This coverage is optional, but if you do not enroll, you will be subject to a penalty if you decide to enroll later.

If you depend on prescription drugs to stabilize one or more medical conditions, or simply like the peace of mind of knowing you will be covered if you get sick, you should consider enrolling in a Part D plan.

Most people choose to enroll in Medicare Part D.

Some reasons for not enrolling (these instances are not very common)

You already have what’s called “creditable drug coverage” from TRICARE or the Department of Veterans Affairs.

You rarely if ever take prescriptions, and use natural remedies for healing.

You have enough savings to pay for the high cost of drugs.

I you have any questions, leave a comment below, or contact me privately.

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