You will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B effective the month of your 65th birthday. If you or your spouse paid Medicare payroll taxes while working and are entitled to monthly Social Security benefits, there is no monthly premium for your Part A coverage.
In addition, you will not have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A if you, or your spouse, paid Medicare payroll taxes while working. However, if you and your spouse did not work, or did not pay enough Medicare payroll taxes while working, then you may not be eligible for free Part A premiums.
Within the Medicare framework, there are two separate products, original Medicare and a Medicare Advantage plan.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program. Generally, you are eligible for Medicare if you are 65-years of age or older, or if you are under the age of 65 with certain disabilities. The federal agency that administers Medicare is the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Medicare Advantage Plans are a type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company, that contracts with CMS to provide you with all your Part A and Part B benefits. Most Medicare Advantage Plans also offer prescription drug coverage. Consumers who qualify for Original Medicare can choose to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans; it is not a requirement to receive coverage through Original Medicare.
There are 4 parts to Medicare:
Part A – Hospital Coverage
Helps cover hospital stays, including skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation facilities and hospice care.
Part B – Medical Coverage
Helps cover doctor and outpatient services, as well as some outpatient prescription drugs and may cover preventive services.
Part C – Medicare Advantage Plans
Provided by private companies approved by Medicare, the plans cover the same services as Part A and Part B. Medicare Advantage plans can also include prescription drug coverage (Part D) and many offer extra coverage, such as vision and hearing care, dental services, and wellness programs.
Part D — Prescription Drug Coverage