Medicare 101

Medicare Enrollment

Medicare is the government subsidized health insurance program for people aged 65 or older, some disabled people under age 65, and people of all ages with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure treated with dialysis or a transplant).

Call or visit your local Social Security Office for details on Medicare eligibility and how to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B.

Enrollment for Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, is an insurance plan provided by a private insurance company. It includes Part A and Part B type coverage and may include additional benefits.
Medicare enrollment for Medicare Advantage plans is not automatic. You will need to enroll through a private insurance company.

You can enroll in Medicare Advantage:

Enrollment for Medicare Part D

  • Prescription drug coverage (Part D) is available to everyone with Medicare. To get Medicare Part D drug coverage, you must join a plan run by an insurance company or other private company approved by Medicare.
  • The “Extra Help” program is also called the low-income subsidy (LIS) from Medicare. You may qualify for Extra Help to pay prescription drug costs if your yearly income and resources are below certain limits.
  • To get answers to your questions about Extra Help, call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).

Enrollment for Medicare Supplement

  • Medicare Supplement (or Medigap) policies are designed to fill many of the gaps in Original Medicare coverage.
  • Medicare Supplement policies are provided by private insurance companies and are regulated by the federal government and state governments. You must apply for coverage through one of the private insurers who offer Medicare Supplement plans.