Color Block


Medicare 101

Learn how Medicare works.


What is Medicare and who is it used for?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people who are 65 years old or older. It's also for those of any age with certain disabilities (physical or mental problems) that last 24 months in a row.

There are two main ways you get Medicare:

  • Original Medicare (Part A and Part B)
  • Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C)

Some people add Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) to Original Medicare.


What does Original Medicare cover?

Original medicare


What other choices do you have?

You can buy more coverage. Private insurance companies sell different plans that cover different items and services.

Other choices 


Medicare Advantage: everything you get with Original Medicare, plus more

Medicare Advantage plans cover services that Original Medicare doesn't. And many plans offer much more. See the coverage you could get from a Medicare Advantage plan.

benefits and features 


If you are new to Medicare, we can help you understand where and when to start. There are some events and situations to know about. These include:

Accordion Block v2
  • You don’t have to sign up for Medicare if you already have a health plan. But once you’re able to sign up for Medicare, it’s a good idea to compare your current health plan against a Medicare health plan.

    Sometimes the costs are lower and coverage is the same. Sometimes Medicare might be better than your employer coverage, or your spouse’s employer coverage. It doesn’t matter if you are still working or aren’t receiving your Social Security income yet.

  • You have a “window” of time you can sign up for Medicare. It’s called your Initial Enrollment Period. It begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes your birthday month and ends three months after you turn 65. 

  • Medicare has identified certain physical or mental problems as disabilities. If you have one of these disabilities, you may qualify for Medicare before age 65. 

    Your doctor and care team are here to help. We have several resources to help you make the best Medicare choice to take care of your health. 

  • Some health problems require special care and attention. You may qualify for Medicare Advantage plans that are designed to support certain chronic conditions or long-term medical problems.

    The right health care team can improve your quality of life. We create a personalized plan to help you take care of your health. Think of it as an extra layer of support, encouragement and information.

    Find out how we can help you.

  • Moving can affect your Medicare. In some cases you may be able to choose a new plan. This is called having a Medicare Special Enrollment Period. 

    The types of moves included are:

    • A move to an area that isn’t in your current Medicare Advantage plan’s service area
    • A move within your current plan’s service area that opens up new plan choices
    • A move back to the United States after living abroad
    • A move into or out of a facility


Helpful resources


Card Box

Frequently asked questions

Explore answers to frequently asked questions.

Accepted health plans

Learn more about what medical insurance plans we accept.

Prepare for your visit

Get the most out of your doctor visit.