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Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)

Part A includes basic functions of insurance such as inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care. Keep in mind Part A may require a monthly premium for those who haven’t paid into social security for at least 10 years.

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)

Part B helps to cover medically necessary doctor’s expenses, outpatient care, and preventative services like seasonal flu shots and other vaccines. Part B does come with a monthly premium that can be deducted from a social security check every month.

Am I eligible for Medicare?

Before you can enroll into a Medicare Advantage plan you must first make sure you’re eligible for Medicare.

Are you a U.S. citizen or are lawfully present in the United States?

Most people are automatically eligible if they are 65 years or older and either themselves or a spouse has worked for the past 10 years while paying into social security. You may also be eligible if you’re already getting benefits from social security or the Railroad Retirement Board. People are also eligible under 65 if they have ESRD or other certain disabilities.

When Can I enroll in Medicare?

Initial Enrollment period. If you are turning 65 you have a 7 month period to enroll in Part A and/or Part B. Your Initial Enrollment Period will begin 3 months before the month of your 65th birthday, the month of your birthday, and 3 months after your 65th birthday.

Open Enrollment Period (OEP)

Every year from January 1st – March 31st you can renew, review, and enroll into a plan of your choosing.

Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)

Every year from October 15th- December 7th you can renew, review, and enroll into a plan of your choosing.

Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

A special enrollment period is a period outside of the usual enrollment periods in which you can get coverage due to qualifying life events. A person that may qualify for special enrollment Period could fall under these circumstances; if you’ve had certain life events, including losing health coverage, moving, getting married, having a baby, or adopting a child.

For more information about Medicare, please go to the website at *www.medicare.gov or call Medicare at 1-800-Medicare (TTY users call 1-877-486-2048) 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

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