What is Medicare?
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that helps cover the costs of health care expenses. People 65 and older, individuals with certain medical conditions or people with permanent disabilities can benefit from this program.
Medicare consist of four different parts:
- Part A – is most commonly known as hospital insurance. Part A is what you would use to cover your care while you are in the hospital (inpatient care).
- Part B – helps take care of your doctor visits, outpatient care, home health service, preventative services as well as any services when admitted to the hospital.
- Part C – Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by private insurance carriers who have a contract with Medicare and are required to offer the same benefits as Original Medicare. (You may choose to enroll in a Part C plan, it is not part of Original Medicare)
- Part D– prescription drug coverage that is offered to everyone with Medicare. (You may choose to enroll in Part D, it is not part of Original Medicare)
When can you sign up?
Initial Enrollment Period – this is a 7-month period that includes:
- the 3 months prior to the month you turn 65
- the month of your 65th birthday
- the 3 months after the month you turn 65.
Note: If you are receiving Social Security benefits or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits, you do not have to enroll in Medicare Part A and B. Your Part A and Part B benefits will automatically begin on the first day of the month you turn 65. If your birthday is on the first day of the month, your benefits will begin on the first day of the prior month.