What is Medicare?
Medicare basics, a federal health insurance program that gives you access to specific coverage and benefits. Medicare is different from health insurance you may have had before. It offers you a variety of coverage options — and it has key enrollment dates and guidelines you need to follow. We’re here to help you make sense of it all.
How is Medicare Different From Other Health Insurance?
You may be surprised at the differences between Medicare and other types of health insurance. If you’ve had health coverage through your employer, your plan likely included medical and prescription drug coverage, along with other benefits. It also may have covered both you and your spouse.
Medicare only covers one person at a time. This means you and your spouse must enroll separately. In addition, Medicare gives you options that can make it possible to receive your benefits in a variety of different ways.
- Choose hospital and medical coverage delivered through the federal government.
- Add prescription drug coverageMedicare Part D delivered through a private company.
- Purchase a supplemental insurance policy from a private insurer that can help cover some of the costs.
- Choose coverage from a private insurer that combines hospital, medical and often prescription drug coverage into one plan.
In short, with Medicare you can choose coverage that fits your needs, budget and lifestyle. We can help you take full advantage of that freedom.
When and How Do I Enroll?
If you’re like most people, you’ll enroll in Medicare around the time you turn 65. Your Initial Enrollment Period begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes the month you turn 65 and ends three months after that birthday.
Keep in mind that if you don’t get Medicare during this Initial Enrollment Period, you may have to pay Medicare Part B or Part D late enrollment penalties. Plus, you could be missing out on coverage and benefits that can help protect your health and finances. That’s why it’s generally a good idea to enroll as soon you can. How you enroll generally depends on if you’re getting benefits from Social Security, the Railroad Retirement Board or the Office of Personnel Management.