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Here are 5 major things you need to know if signing up for Medicare for the first time

Medicare is a health insurance program for those ages 65 and older, and people may sign up three months before they turn 65.

A lot can go into enrolling for the first time and picking the best option for yourself.

Here are 5 things to think about when enrolling for the first time

There is an initial enrollment period, which is when you’re brand new to the healthcare.

It begins three months before you get Medicare and ends three months after.

In that 6 month window you have a chance to join any of the plans offered, but you need both Part A and Part B for Medicare Advantage.

Here is a breakdown of all the parts of Medicare and how they work:

Part A is hospital insurance for people to get inpatient care at facilities like hospitals, nursing facilities, or hospice.

Part B is medical insurance, which covers things like services from doctors and health care providers, outpatient services, home health services, medical equipment, and preventative services.

Part C is Medicare Advantage. This will provide a private insurance plan approved through Medicare.

Part D is drug coverage for things like prescription drugs or shots.

Medigap, or Medicare Supplemental Insurance, covers costs and can be purchased through a private company.

Medicare costs a monthly premium plus part of the medical costs when you get a service.

Part A is usually $0 for people that paid Medicare taxes while they worked. The deductible is $1,484 for every time someone is admitted into the hospital per benefits period before Medicare starts to pay.

Part B is $148.50 premium or more and depends on your income. The deductible is $203 per year.

Parts C and D vary depending on which plan you choose.

When your coverage starts depends on when you send your request in to the plan.

If you request joining a plan before Medicare begins your coverage will start the same day your Medicare starts.

If you request after your Medicare starts then it’ll start on the first of the month after the request is received.

Medicare is different for people and their spouses who work past the age of 65.

You do not need to get Medicare if you’re still covered under what your employer provides.

You may sign up when you stop working or lose health insurance.

Related: How to find the best plan and save money with Medicare open enrollment

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