Medicare is a federal health insurance program that covers about 44 million Americans. That’s about 15 percent of the population.
It’s the single largest payer of health insurance in the country. People become eligible when they turn 65. It’s also available for people under 65 with disabilities or those with end-stage renal disease.
You’re automatically enrolled in Medicare when you turn 65. As you approach 65, you’ll receive information about choosing a Medicare plan. This should come three months before you turn 65. You have until three months after your 65th birthday month to pick a plan. That gives you seven months to review your options before making a decision.
The effective date is the first day of the month when you’re eligible for Medicare if you sign up in the months before becoming eligible. If you wait to sign up for Medicare on the month when you’re eligible or the following month, the effective date is the first day of the next month.
What are the different types of Medicare?
There are four types of Medicare. These plans cover specific services: