Medicare

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a health insurance program for:

  • People age 65 and older
  • People with certain disabilities who have qualified for SSI
  • People with end-stage renal disease

When can I enroll in Medicare?

Your initial coverage and election period is a seven month period that begins three months before you turn 65, includes the month you become 65 and the follow three months or December 31st of that year.  During this time you will be enrolled in Part A and Part B and can choose to enroll in Part D and either a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan (see below).

Every year between October 7th and December 15th there is an open enrollment period where individual can change plans.  There is also an annual disenrollment period from January 14 through February 14th where someone can cancel their enrollment in a plan and revert to original Medicare (Parts A and B).

Special enrollment periods are available due to qualifying circumstances. These include situations such as:

  • Loss of employer-based or union coverage
  • A Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan is terminating
  • Moving to an location that the current carrier’s plan doesn’t cover

What are My Medicare Choices?

Original Medicare

Part A: Hospital Insurance covers inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities or hospice, and some home health care 
Part B:  Medical Insurance covers medically necessary services like doctors’ services, outpatient care, durable medical equipment and some preventive services. You pay a monthly premium for this coverage

Part A: Hospital Insurance covers inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities or hospice, and some home health care

Part B: Medical Insurance covers medically necessary services like doctors’ services, outpatient care, durable medical equipment and some preventive services. You pay a monthly premium for this coverage

Plus

Part D: Prescription Coverage covers brand-name and generic prescription drugs. It is only sold through private insurance carriers. Cost Varies by plan and carrier.
Part D: Prescription Coverage covers brand-name and generic prescription drugs. It is only sold through private insurance carriers. Cost Varies by plan and carrier.

Optional

Medicare Supplement pays the deductibles and coinsurance in Original Medicare coverage. A variety of plans are available. Costs vary by plan and company.
Medicare Supplement pays the deductibles and coinsurance in Original Medicare coverage. A variety of plans are available. Costs vary by plan and company.

OR

Medicare Advantage

PART C: Medicare Advantage covers

All Part A and Part B services
Additional services such as vision and dental care are often covered
Many plans also include Part D prescription drug coverage

Sold through private insurance carriers. Most plans require you to use their network of doctors and hospitals. Prices vary from $0 on up and change yearly, depending on the plan and carrier.
PART C: Medicare Advantage covers
  • All Part A and Part B services
  • Additional services such as vision and dental care are often covered
  • Many plans also include Part D prescription drug coverage
Sold through private insurance carriers. Most plans require you to use their network of doctors and hospitals. Prices vary from $0 on up and change yearly, depending on the plan and carrier.

Additional Resources

Medicare and You

Download “Medicare & You” from the medicare.gov website.

Download Medicare & You

Choosing a Medigap Policy

Download “Choosing a Medigap Policy” from the medicare.gov website.

Download Choosing a Medigap Policy