Medicare is health insurance for people 65 or older. You’re first eligible to sign up for Medicare 3 months before you turn 65. You may be eligible to get Medicare earlier if you have a disability, End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), or ALS (also called Lou Gehrig’s disease). Generally, you only need to sign up for Part A and Part B once. Each year, you can choose which way you get your health coverage (and add or switch drug coverage).
Medicare is different from private insurance — it doesn’t offer plans for couples or families. You don’t have to make the same choice as your spouse.
2 steps to set up your Medicare coverage:
Sign up for Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) You can sign up at certain times.
Choose which way you want to get your Medicare health coverage.
You can choose either Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage (Part C) for your health coverage.
If you choose Original Medicare, you’ll also decide if you want drug coverage (Part D) and supplemental coverage, like Medigap (separately).
Also known as Medicare Part C, Medicare Advantage Plans can offer Prescription, Dental, Vision, and Hearing coverage, all in one plan.
Need to use doctors who are in the plan’s network (for non-emergency or non-urgent care).
May pay a premium for the plan in addition to the monthly Part B premium. Plans may have a $0 premium or may help pay all or part of your Part B premiums.
Can’t buy or use separate supplemental coverage (like Medigap).
Also known as Medigap, MedSupp plans help fill "gaps" in Original Medicare. Can help pay some of the remaining health care costs like; copayments, coinsurance and/or deductibles. (Does not cover Prescriptions, Dental, or Vision.)
Go to any doctor or hospital that takes Medicare, anywhere in the U.S.
Join a separate Medicare drug plan (Part D) to get drug coverage.
Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs (including many recommended shots or vaccines). You join a Medicare drug plan in addition to
Original Medicare, or you get it by joining a Medicare Advantage Plan with drug coverage. Plans that offer Medicare drug coverage are run by private insurance companies that follow rules set by Medicare.
Speak with a Licensed Agent
Have a licensed insurance agent contact you to answer any questions you may have, or help you enroll in a health plan.