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Great question. We’ve made it easy for you (or your loved ones) to get the answers you need.

When should I sign up?

It’s usually smart to get Medicare when you first can. The sooner you do, the sooner your coverage starts.

If you wait until your 65th birthday (or beyond), there could be a gap where your health needs are not covered for a time. Your costs could go up, too.

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Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)

New to Medicare? You’ll have a 7-month period to sign up. It starts three months before the month you turn 65 – and continues for three months after.

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General Enrollment Period (GEP)

Wait, you missed IEP? Don’t worry. You can enroll during GEP but may pay a penalty. Get Parts A and B from January – March, or Parts C or D from April – June.

Think you might want to change plans later? Each year, from October 15 – December 7, you can do just that during an Open Enrollment Period.Think you might want to change plans later? Each year, from October 15 – December 7, you can do just that during an Open Enrollment Period.

Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

Have health coverage through your employer or your spouse’s? You may be able to put off getting Medicare, then sign up later.

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What about prescriptions?

Sure, you can add that. But it’s not included with Original Medicare, so you’ll need to get a separate plan from an insurance company. This is called Part D.

Part D covers medications prescribed by doctors.

I have Medicaid. You will need to get either Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan. When you qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare, you are considered “dual eligible” and will receive benefits from both.

In addition, you may pay a low (or no) cost for your Medicare coverage, and most of your healthcare costs will likely be covered.

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Now that I understand the basics of Medicare, how can I get it?

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Can someone explain cost to me simply?

We’d be glad to. There are two basic types of cost:

1. Your regular monthly payment for healthcare coverage (your premium)

2. Your share of the cost for healthcare services you receive (this includes deductibles, copays and coinsurance)

Let’s see how each of these costs work:

  • Medicare Quickstart

    See if (and when) you can get Medicare coverage by answering a few quick questions.

  • Are you a United States citizen?

  • Have you lived in the U.S. as a legal resident for the past 5 years?

  • What is your date of birth?

  • Have you lived in the U.S. as a legal resident for the past 5 years?

  • You can’t get Medicare coverage yet.

    We’re glad you’re thinking about it already. You can sign up three months before your 65th birthday.

    Sign Up For Healthfirst Reminders

    We would be glad to help you get another type of health plan now.

    Find a health plan

  • You do not currently qualify for Medicare due to the program’s requirements. We would be glad to help you get another type of health plan.

    Find a health plan
  • Good news! You can get Medicare coverage.

    While you did not sign up during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), you can still sign up during the General Enrollment Period (GEP) from January through March.

    • Jan
    • Feb
    • Mar
    • Jul
    Enroll in Original Medicare
    Coverage starts July 1

    If you have health coverage through work (or qualify for the Medicare Savings Program), you may be able to sign up for Medicare during a Special Enrollment Period outside of the GEP.

    Keep reading to learn how to sign up.

  • Good news! You can get Medicare coverage.

    3 months before
    Birthday Month*
    3 months after

    * Since your birthday is July 1st, Medicare considers June your birthday month.

    The time to sign up is now, before your Initial Enrollment Period ends. We can send you helpful Healthfirst reminders if you think you might forget.

    Keep reading to learn how to sign up.

    * Since your birthday is July 1st, Medicare considers June your birthday month.

    Sign Up For Healthfirst Reminders
  • Good news! You can get Medicare coverage soon.

    3 months before
    Birthday Month*
    3 months after

    * Since your birthday is July 1st, Medicare considers June your birthday month.

    Your Initial Enrollment Period is just around the corner. Be sure to sign up when it begins.

    Keep reading to learn how to sign up.

    * Since your birthday is July 1st, Medicare considers June your birthday month.

    Sign Up For Healthfirst Reminders
  • Good news! You can get Medicare coverage.

    If you’ve been receiving disability benefits for at least two years, you’ll get Medicare automatically. You have the option to choose a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) or a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D).

    Keep reading to learn how to sign up.

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Just the facts you need to understand your options.