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Last Updated January 2024

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FAQ: Common Medicare Questions

How do I know if I qualify for Medicare?

Medicare is open to people who are age 65 or older, younger people with disabilities and to those with End Stage Renal Disease. Learn more about Medicare eligibility.

When is the enrollment period for Medicare?

There are a few times when you can enroll in Medicare programs. The Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Part A & B is between January 1 and March 31 of each year. Annual Enrollment Period runs from October 15 and December 7 of each year and during this time:

  • You can switch from Medicare Parts A & B to a Part C plan
  • You can switch from Medicare Part C back to Parts A & B
  • If you have or are signing up for Medicare Part A & B you can join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan
  • If you have Medicare Part C you can switch to a new Part C plan.

What is a Medigap/Medicare Supplement plan and how do they work?

Medicare Advantage plans are different than and separate from MediGap plans. Benefits provided from within each plan will vary, and consumers cannot have both Medicare Advantage and MediGap coverage concurrently.

What is a Special Enrollment Period and how does it change my eligibility?

You can make changes to your Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage when certain events happen in your life. Such as…

  • You change where you live
  • You lose your current coverage
  • You have a chance to get other coverage (employer, TRICARE or VA, PACE plan)
  • Your plan changes its contract with Medicare
  • Other special situations

Are there different types of Medicare Advantage plans?

Yes - there are 6 types of Medicare Advantage health plans. These include: Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), Private Fee-for-Services Plans (PFFSs), Special Needs Plans (SNPs), Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans (MSAs), Point of Service Plans (POSs). Learn more about Medicare Advantage Plans.

What is general Medicare and when am I eligible to enroll?

Medicare is a health insurance program for:

  • People age 65 or older.
  • People under age 65 with certain disabilities.
  • People of all ages with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant).
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