Learn about Medicare
What help is available?
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people
- Age 65 or older
- Under 65 with certain disabilities
- Any age with end-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant).
Medicare has four parts:
- Part A is hospital insurance.
- Part B is medical insurance.
- Part C Medical Advantage Plans are a private insurance option for covering hospital and medical costs.
- Part D covers prescription medications.
Medicare is managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The Social Security Administration works with CMS by enrolling people in Medicare.
Am I eligible?
- To find out when you are eligible, you need to answer a few questions and learn how to calculate your premium.
- If you are eligible, learn about the enrollment period.
How do I apply?
There are several ways to enroll in Medicare:
- Before you apply, learn about your coverage options. Decide if you want Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) or a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C).
- Determine if you want coverage for prescription drugs.
- Next, use the Medicare Plan Finder Tool and search to find more accurate cost estimates and coverage information.
- Apply online for Medicare only if you’re not ready to also begin receiving your Social Security benefits.
- Apply in person for Medicare at your local Social Security office.
How do I check the status of my application?
How do I complain?
- Learn the different ways to file a complaint about Medicare.
- You can submit feedback about your Medicare health plan or prescription drug plan directly to Medicare using the online complaint form.
How do I report fraud?
- Learn where and how to report suspected Medicare fraud, errors, or abuse.
Who do I contact for extra help?
For questions about billing or for other information, contact Medicare by phone or mail.
Is there anything else I need to know?
- Review this chart showing Medicare costs for 2017.
- If you do not enroll in Medicare Part B when you are first eligible and decide to enroll at a later date, you will pay a penalty for as long as you are enrolled in Part B.
- You do not need to sign up for Medicare each year. But each year, you will have a chance to review your coverage and change plans.
- Learn more about your plan and benefits by creating a myMedicare.gov account.