Generally, you are eligible for Medicare if you or your spouse contributed 40 quarters which it is about 10 years of work contributing to your Medicare-covered employment and you are 65 years old a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
If you are not 65, you might also qualify for coverage if you have a disability or with End-Stage Renal disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant), or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
Here are some simple guidelines. You can get Part A at age 65 without having to pay premiums if:
If you are under 65, you can get Part A without having to pay premiums if:
While you don’t have to pay a premium for Part A if you meet one of those conditions, you must pay for Part B if you want it. It is deducted from your Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or Civil Service Retirement check. If you don’t recieve any of the above payments, Medicare sends you a bill for your Part B premium every 3 months.
If you have questions about your eligibility for Medicare Part A or Part B, or if you want to apply for Medicare.
Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called "Part C" or "MA Plans," are offered by private companies approved by Medicare. If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you still have Medicare. You'll get your Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage from the Medicare Advantage Plan and not Original Medicare.
Different types of Medicare Advantage Plans are:
Medicare Advantage Plans must cover all of the services that Original Medicare covers except hospice care. Original Medicare covers hospice care even if you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan. In all types of Medicare Advantage Plans, you’re always covered for emergency and urgent care. Medicare Advantage Plans must offer emergency coverage outside of the plan’s service area (but not outside the U.S.). Medicare Advantage Plans cover all Medicare services. Most Medicare Advantage Plans also offer extra coverage, like vision, hearing and dental coverage.
When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you use the Health Insurance Card received from the Health Plan of your choice. In most of these plans, there generally are extra benefits and lower co-payments than in Original Medicare Plan. Most Medicare Advantage Plans are Managed Care Plans, usually a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), and you may have to be treated by Doctors and Hospitals in the Plans network.
To join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you must have Medicare Part A and Part B. You will have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part B to Medicare. In addition to your Part B premium, you may pay one monthly premium for the services included in a Medicare Advantage Plan. Each Medicare Advantage Plan has different premiums and costs for services, so it’s important to compare plans in your area and understand plan costs and benefits before you join.
When can I enroll?
Keep in mind that Medicare limits when you can join, switch, or drop a Medicare Advantage Plan. You can join a plan when you first become eligible for Medicare.
For example, if you're eligible for Medicare when you turn 65, you can sign up during the 7-month period that:
If you are disabled and have Social Security Disability Insurance, you can join an advantage plan three months before to three months after month 25 of your disability.
You can switch or drop your Medicare Advantage Plan during the annual enrollment period (AEP) October 15th to December 7th, if you qualify for Medicaid- Medicare Savings Plan (MSP) or Low Income Subsidy (LIS) you can change it at any time, if you move from the service area of your plan or if your plan leaves the area.