En español | Medicare is often confusing because its rules affect different people in different circumstances. AARP’s Medicare Question and Answer Tool offers practical and comprehensive information to help you navigate the program according to your own situation. The tool clarifies eligibility and enrollment requirements and provides answers to questions on Medicare’s plan options, coverage and costs in an easy-to-understand manner.
Choose a topic below and click “See all questions” to find the answers you are looking for.
A: Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people age 65 and over and younger people who qualify due to disability. Medicaid, a state-run program, provides health coverage for people with low incomes. — Read Full Answer
A: Medigap is private insurance that covers out-of-pocket expenses in the Original Medicare program. (If you are under age 65 and have Medicare due to disability, see the next Q&A in this section, because the rules are different for your situation.) — Read Full Answer
A: If you qualify for Medicare under age 65 due to disability, you may find it more difficult to buy Medigap insurance than people 65 and older, but it depends on where you live. — Read Full Answer
A: Some Medicare enrollments are automatic, but many aren’t. It depends on your circumstances. — Read Full Answer
A: If you have coverage from a current employer (your own or your spouse’s), you can delay enrollment until the job ends. Otherwise, you should sign up shortly before turning 65. — Read Full Answer
A: Originally the doughnut hole, if you fell into it, was a period in which you paid 100 percent of the cost of your prescription drugs. But since 2011 the gap has been narrowing. — Read Full Answer
A: Two government agencies, Social Security and Medicare, are responsible for different aspects of Medicare. The state health insurance assistance programs (SHIPs) provide personal help on Medicare issues. — Read Full Answer
A: Yes. You can apply to the Extra Help program, which provides Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage at low or reduced cost for people with incomes under a certain level. — Read Full Answer
A: A doctor who doesn’t accept assignment can charge you up to 15 percent more for a medical service than a doctor who accepts assignment. — Read Full Answer
A: In most situations, doctors and other providers that accept Medicare are required by law to submit claims to Medicare. — Read Full Answer
A: Your drug plan is required to notify you of changes in its coverage and costs in specific circumstances. — Read Full Answer
A: No. Medicare does not discriminate between people in poor or good health. — Read Full Answer
A: You can find a complete list online on Medicare’s website. Or you can call Medicare’s help line or your state department of insurance. — Read Full Answer
A: You don’t have to pay to get personal help with Medicare issues. Your state health insurance assistance program (SHIP) provides this service free of charge. — Read Full Answer