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The Basics of Medicare

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The Basics of Medicare

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Medicare is a Federal health insurance program that helps millions of American seniors and disabled individuals cover some of their health care costs. If you're new to Medicare, or helping someone who is, the choices may seem overwhelming.

10 Things to Know about Medicare

The right Medicare plan can provide protection and help save money. Here are 10 key things to help you get started.

1. If you qualify for Medicare, you can enroll in Original Medicare Parts A and B through the federal government.

  • Part A helps cover hospital costs
  • Part B helps cover doctor costs

Medicare – A New Age

10,000 people age into Medicare in the United States every day. Watch a short film about aging in America and the impact on our health care system. Hear stories from real people about their experiences as they navigate this stage of life.

2. If you enroll in Original Medicare Parts A and B only, some costs are not covered. Many people enroll in a supplemental Medicare plan through a private insurance company, such as UnitedHealthcare, to help with those uncovered costs.

3. Part D: prescription drug coverage – helps you save and budget for prescription drug costs.

4. Part C: Medicare Advantage plans – combine Original Medicare Parts A and B. Many plans also include Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, combining Parts A, B, and D into one convenient plan.

5. It makes a difference where you live. Original Medicare Parts A and B are usually the same cost, but Medicare Part C and D plans may vary by state and county.

6. If you have retiree medical coverage from your employer, you may not need a Medicare plan. But, you still may want to enroll in Original Medicare Parts A and B.

7. Review the plans in your area. There are different choices depending on your coverage and budget needs.

8. Ask for help. You may qualify for help paying for Medicare plan costs, if you're on a limited income.

9. Be sure to enroll early when you become eligible. If you wait to enroll, you could pay more or have fewer plan choices later. Learn more about when to enroll in Medicare.

10. The plan you enroll in is not permanent. You have a chance to change plans at least once a year during the Annual Enrollment Period. You may want to review your coverage needs each year.

Test your Medicare knowledge

Learn more about Medicare and find UnitedHealthcare plans in your area.

Medicare Made Clear

Get the information and support you need. Visit MedicareMadeClear or call 1-877-477-6407, TTY 711, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week.