Q. Do I qualify for Medicare?
The Short Answer
Medicare is for people who are age 65 and older. In some instances, Medicare also covers younger people with disabilities.
When you apply for Medicare, you’ll sign up for:
- Part A (Hospital Insurance). It will coordinate with any existing coverage you have.
- Part B (Medical Insurance). If you elect to enroll in Part B, it will trigger your six-month Open Enrollment period. This is the time when you can apply for Medicare supplement insurance coverage regardless of your health history. After that time, you may be denied based on your health.
Or you can turn it down and enroll in Part B later. Usually this is used if you are still working and are covered under a group plan. If you choose not to take it for another reason, you may have to wait until the next enrollment period and pay a late enrollment penalty every year. You may not be covered under another plan if you have Part B.
If you want a Medicare Advantage policy, you should still sign up when you enroll in Part B. However, with Medicare Advantage there is an Annual Enrollment period from October 15 to December 7. Remember that Annual Enrollment and Open Enrollment are not the same thing.