What is Medicare?
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 years and older, certain people with disabilities and people with End-Stage Renal Disease.
Helps to cover hospital services.
Helps to cover expenses like doctor’s appointments, laboratory tests and x-rays.
Also called Medicare Advantage and usually bundles Part A, B and D.
Helps to cover the cost of prescription drugs.
You have the choice to enroll in different parts of Medicare depending on your health care needs. If you have regular prescription drug costs, you may consider a Part D plan. Also, you may consider whether you need Part B if you or your spouse are still working and receive health insurance through the employer.
However, it is important to note that if you do not sign up for Medicare Part B when you are first eligible, you may have a delay in getting Medicare coverage and may have to pay a late enrollment fee.
Signing up for Medicare
You have a seven-month period to sign up for Medicare Part A and/or Part B. The time period starts three months before you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65 and ends three months after the month you turn 65. If you do not sign up for Medicare Part B when you are first eligible, you may have a delay getting Medicare coverage in the future.
Get Help Choosing a Plan
If you need help signing up for Medicare or understanding what plan may be best for you:
- Visit Medicare.gov to learn more about Medicare.
- Use the Medicare Plan Finder to find the plan that is best for you.
- Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to talk to a customer service representative.
- Get free help signing up for Medicare from your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
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Further Reading on the Different Medicare Parts
Read about each part of Medicare in more detail in our Advance article: "Medicare Part A, B, C and D: What’s the Difference?"Learn more about Medicare