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3. Costs and Coverage

The articles below will help you understand how your doctors, health, prescriptions and travel can affect your budget and your benefits.

estimated read time: 4 ARTICLES, 20 MINUTES total

Make sure you know key facts about Medicare before enrolling. Review the statements below and click the arrows on the left for more information. Once you understand each statement, click the box on the right.

Learning Checklist

Your costs may include the following:


Part A premium, free for most people


Part B premium, $174.70 a month for most people in 2024


Medigap premium to help pay for original Medicare’s cost sharing and deductibles (optional)


Medicare Advantage premium if you choose Part C (some plans don't charge this additional premium)


Part D premium for prescription drug coverage to accompany original Medicare


Copayments and coinsurance for hospital stays, doctor visits and outpatient services


Deductibles, such as $1,632 per benefit period for Part A and $240 a year for Part B in original Medicare in 2024

Domestic travel. Original Medicare covers visits to any doctor nationwide who accepts Medicare, even if it’s not your usual physician.


Medicare Advantage plans typically use local provider networks, and it may be difficult to find in-network providers in some locations. If you see an out-of-network provider, you may not be covered or you may have to pay more. All plans cover emergency and urgent care with cost sharing.


Foreign travel. Original Medicare generally doesn’t provide coverage, but some supplemental Medigap policies can cover some of the costs of foreign travel emergencies. Most Medicare Advantage plans don’t cover health care abroad although some have limited coverage for emergency care.

Original Medicare allows you to see any doctor nationwide who accepts Medicare.


Medicare Advantage plans have local provider networks and may charge more for out-of-network doctors or may not cover them at all, except in emergencies. Some plans also require a referral from a primary care physician to see a specialist.