Older Americans are typically covered by Medicare, a federal health insurance program. Medicare provides health insurance for people 65 and over, as well as for some younger people with disabilities.
There are a few different types of Medicare plans, but the two main ones are Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) and Medicare Advantage (Part C).
Original Medicare is the traditional fee-for-service health insurance program. You can see any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare, and you’ll pay a monthly premium for Part B coverage. Part A covers inpatient hospital care, while Part B covers outpatient care, such as doctor visits, lab tests, and preventive services.
Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private companies that contract with Medicare. These plans must offer at least the same benefits as Original Medicare, but many plans offer additional benefits, such as dental and vision coverage. You’ll pay a monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage plan, and you may also have to pay copayments or coinsurance for your care.
If you’re 65 or older, you’re eligible for Medicare. You can enroll in Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period, which starts three months before your 65th birthday,includes the month you turn 65, and ends three months after that birthday.