• The Medicare fee-for-service program referred to as "original" Medicare consists of Part A (inpatient services) and Part B (outpatient services).

    Hospital Stays

    Medicare beneficiaries requiring hospitalization pay the Part A deductible before receiving coverage. Once the deductible ($1,100 in 2010) is satisfied, Medicare pays the full cost of the first 60 days of hospitalization each year. After the first 60 inpatient days, beneficiaries pay the co-payment (in 2010, $275 per day for days 60 through 90 and $550 for days 91 through 150) and Medicare covers the rest for up to 150 days.

    Skilled Nursing Facilities

    Medicare pays the full cost of the first 20 days of skilled nursing facility care. For days 21 through 100, beneficiaries pay a daily co-payment ($137.50 in 2010). Medicare does not cover skilled nursing facility stays in excess of 100 days each year.

    Outpatient Services

    Medicare Part B pays 80 percent of the Medicare-allowed payment for doctor visits, diagnostic tests and other outpatient services once the annual deductible ($155 in 2010) is satisfied.

    Medigap Policies

    Medicare beneficiaries can reduce out-of-pocket costs with Medicare supplemental (Medigap) coverage. Benefits and premiums vary by plan and insurer. To view available Medigap plans, follow the Medigap options link in the Resources section of this article.

    Medicare Advantage

    Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurer as an alternative to original fee-for-service Medicare. These plans can offer cost savings and a broader set of benefits. To find a Medicare Advantage plan, go to the Medicare Plan Finder in the Resources section of this article.


    Medicare information

    More Information:

    Medigap Options

    Medicare Plan Finder

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