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Last Updated March 2023

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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?

It is an insurance policy that is sold by private insurance companies and is meant to fill in any gaps in Original Medicare coverage. It does so by helping to pay for some medical expenses that Original Medicare does not cover.

How is Medicare funded?

There are 2 trust funds held by the U.S. Treasury that are solely used for Medicare. Generally speaking, these accounts are funded by payroll taxes, income taxes on Social Security benefits, interest earned on trust fund investments, Medicare Part A premiums, Medicare Part B premiums and Medicare Part D premiums.

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.

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