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I have Medicare Part A and Part B. I’ve heard about Part C and Part D, but I don’t know what those are. Do I need to sign up for those during the Medicare Open Enrollment period?

Medicare Part C plans, also known as Medicare Advantage plans, are private health insurance plans, mainly HMOs and PPOs, for people enrolled in Medicare. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you still have Medicare, but you get all of your Medicare-covered benefits through a private plan. Most Medicare…

I live alone without family or close friends nearby, and I don’t have a computer. Where can I get help learning about the Medicare drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans in my area?

You can learn about your coverage options by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), or by speaking with someone at your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). SHIPs offer local, personalized counseling and assistance to people with Medicare and their families. You can call 877-839-2675 to get the phone number for the…

Can I change my Medicare coverage outside of the Medicare Open Enrollment period?

You can, but generally only under special circumstances that qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). These circumstances include (but are not limited to) moving to a new location that is outside of your current plan’s service area or where additional plan options are available, moving back into the…

Can immigrants enroll in Medicare?

It depends. Residents of the U.S., including citizens and permanent residents, are eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A if they have worked at least 40 quarters (10 years) in jobs where they or their spouses paid Medicare payroll taxes and are at least 65 years old. Legal immigrants who are…

What is a Medicare Advantage plan? How does it differ from traditional Medicare?

Medicare Advantage plans are private health plans, such as HMOs or PPOs, that are offered by health insurers that have contracts with the Medicare program to offer benefits to people with Medicare. The plans provide all Medicare-covered benefits under Parts A and B, and usually provide Part D prescription drug…

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