Medicare

Medicare is available to people age 65 or older, as well as younger people with certain disabilities. Here you can learn more about the benefits covered by Medicare, and you can use our interactive tools to find cheap Medicare plans in your area.

Find Cheap Medicare Plans in Your Area

Currently insured?

Learn about the different types of Medicare insurance policies

Medicare can be broken down into four different types of coverage.

The two main ways of obtaining Medicare are:

  1. Get Part A and B plans, with the option of adding Part D or Medigap.
  2. Get a bundled Part C plan (includes Part A, B, and usually Part D).

Part A

Part B

Part C

Part D

Also known as hospital insurance, Part A covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility (SNF) care, hospice care and, in some cases, home health care. If you were in the workforce for more than 10 years, or 40 quarters, then you will likely not have to pay for Medicare Part A.

Part A

Also known as hospital insurance, Part A covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility (SNF) care, hospice care and, in some cases, home health care. If you were in the workforce for more than 10 years, or 40 quarters, then you will likely not have to pay for Medicare Part A.

Part B

Part B provides coverage for medical needs including outpatient care and visits to the doctor. It covers both preventative and medically necessary services. Medicare Part A and part B make up Original Medicare, which is managed by the federal government.

Part C

Also known as Medicare Advantage, Part C is offered by private companies. People who buy Part C pay for:

  • Part A: Usually free
  • Part B: Cost set each year by the government
  • Part C: Cost set by the private insurance company

Part C offers coverage for services not offered by Parts A and B, such as dental and vision care.

Part D

Medicare Part D helps cover the cost of a wide range of medications, including prescription drugs.

Medicare Supplement (Medigap)

Medigap is a supplemental health insurance coverage that you can add to your Original Medicare policy. It provides coverage for costs not covered by Medicare Parts A and B, such as deductibles, coinsurance and out-of-pocket costs.

Guide to Medicare

web search

1. How old do you have to be to get Medicare?

You must be 65 or older in order to qualify for Medicare. However, some younger people with certain disabilities can also qualify for Medicare.

Medicare Eligibility Calculator

Calculate your initial seven month Medicare enrollment period by entering your date of birth.

Birth date

//

Your initial enrollment period based on your age is

Enter your birth date

Note that your enrollment period may differ if you currently have a disability or have certain medical conditions.


checklist

2. How do I sign up for Medicare?

There are a couple of ways to sign up for Medicare. If you apply for retirement or disability benefits through Social Security, it will automatically include an application for Original Medicare (Parts A and B).

If you are interested in signing up only for Medicare, you can submit an application on the Social Security Administration website. You can apply for Medicare Parts C and D at Medicare.gov.

It's important to note that you must have Original Medicare (Parts A and B), as well as a Medicare account number in order to sign up for Part C or D.

You can also apply for Medicare by calling 1-800-772-1213.


comparison

3. What documents do I need to apply for Medicare?

In order to apply for Medicare, you will likely need your birth certificate, U.S driver's license or passport, Social Security number, current health insurance information, tax records (W-2), and records of military service, if applicable.

Helpful Guides to Medicare

Read our latest work on Medicare

What Are Your Medicare Coverage Options?

Medicare coverage options include Medicare Part A (hospital care), Medicare Part B (medical care), Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) and... Read More

Changing or Switching Medigap Plans: Enrollment Guide

Learn when you can change Medicare Supplement plans to get the best prices or switch to Medigap from Medicare Advantage without a medical... Read More

What Is Medicare, and How Does It Work?

For seniors and those with disabilities, the Medicare program provides health insurance through several parts, letting you choose how you... Read More

What's the Best $0 Medicare Advantage Plan?

For budget-friendly Medicare Advantage plans that cost $0 per month, we recommend AARP/UnitedHealthcare and Humana, which have high star... Read More

What Are the Best Medicare Plans for Cancer Patients?

Medigap Plan G from Mutual of Omaha gives you the best coverage for cancer treatment. If you have to go through medical underwriting,... Read More

Best Cheap Medicare Advantage Plans in Michigan

Aetna and Priority Health plans received high customer satisfaction ratings. Aetna has the cheapest average costs, while Priority Health... Read More

How Much Are Medicare Deductibles in 2022?

Medicare Part B charges a $233 annual deductible, and Medicare Part A has a $1,556 deductible per hospital benefit period. The deductible... Read More

Medicare & Diabetic Supplies: Coverage and Best Plans

All Medicare plans cover diabetic supplies and insulin. The best plan for diabetics is a Medicare Advantage plan from AARP or a Medicare... Read More

What Are the Best Medicare Supplement Plans in Texas?

AARP/UnitedHealthcare has the best Medigap plans in Texas because of its satisfied policyholders and good rates. However, you can get cheap... Read More

Pages

ValuePenguin.com is owned and operated by LendingTree, LLC ("LendingTree"). All rights reserved.

Invitations for application for insurance may be made through QW Insurance Solutions, LLC ("QWIS"), a subsidiary of QuoteWizard.com, LLC ("QuoteWizard"), a LendingTree subsidiary, or through its designated agents, only where licensed and appointed. Licensing information for QWIS can be found here. QWIS is a non-government licensed health insurance agency. Not affiliated with or endorsed by any government agency.

Callers to QWIS will be directed to a licensed and certified representative of Medicare Supplement insurance and/or Medicare Advantage HMO, HMO SNP, PPO, PPO SNP and PFFS organizations. Calls to QWIS will be routed to a licensed agent who can provide you with further information about the insurance plans offered by one or more third-party partners of QWIS. Each of the organizations they represent has a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any plan depends on contract renewal.

Availability of benefits and plans varies by carrier and location and may be limited to certain times of the year unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. QWIS does not offer every plan available in your area. Any information provided is limited to those plans offered in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.

Deductibles, copays, coinsurance, limitations, and exclusions may apply.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed the information contained on this website.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.