Medicare FAQs

Medicare Questions & Answers

Medicare is health insurance provided by the federal government. It's available to people on disability and to all Americans 65 or over, regardless of health or income, to cover or lower health care costs. Choosing Medicare options can be overwhelming and confusing. Find answers to frequently asked questions about coverage, enrollment and more.

No. You’re enrolled in Medicare when you apply for Social Security benefits, but there is no automatic process that enrolls you as soon as you turn 65.

You may not wish to enroll right away. For example, if you continue working past 65, you have the option of keeping your employer-provided plan.

You can enroll at, or a licensed broker can walk you through the process. You do not have to re-enroll every year, but you do have the option of changing your coverage every year during the Annual Enrollment Period (October 15 –December 7).

Medicare coverage starts the month after you enroll. To check on Medicare enrollment status you can:

Activating your Social Security benefits automatically enrolls you in Original Medicare.

Yes. You can use your other benefits to cover needs not covered by Original Medicare.

No. Each Medicare plan is individual. Talk to your employer about benefit extensions for dependents or consider purchasing ACA coverage through Marketplace for your spouse.

No. You may not be covered by both Medicare and Marketplace coverage at the same time. In fact, it’s against the law to sell ACA coverage to anyone who already has Medicare coverage. 

Many do, but not all. And if you choose to add a Medicare Advantage plan, only doctors in network with your insurance provider will be covered. Choose a plan that allows you to see the doctor you want.

If you miss the deadline, you may have to wait and pay a monthly late penalty. In some cases - such as a loss of existing coverage -Medicare will make an exception and allow you to sign up post-deadline without a penalty. This is called the Special Enrollment Period.

Medicare has four parts (A, B, C and D) which offer coverage based on different health care needs and budgets. No part of Medicare pays for all of your medical costs, and some aren't covered at all. You'll still pay premiums, deductibles and, with some coverage, co-pays and coinsurance. Often, these are paid for out-of-pocket.

Learn about your Medicare coverage options by contacting a local insurance agent, contacting Medicare directly at 800-MEDICARE or visiting