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Medicare FAQs

If you’re new to Medicare, you probably have questions about the enrollment process and supplement selection. Here are some answers to a few frequently asked questions.

Q: When do I enroll in Medicare?

A: You have a 7 month enrollment period starting 3 months before you turn 65 and ending three months after your birth month. You will not automatically be enrolled. People under the age of 65 who have a disability or End Stage Renal Disease may also qualify for Medicare. If you do not enroll in Medicare when you are first eligible, you could be charged a late enrollment penalty that will affect the cost of future premiums.

Q: How do I enroll in Medicare?

A: You apply for Medicare through the Social Security office. You can visit your local office or apply online here:

Q: What are the parts of Medicare?

A: There are four parts of Medicare: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D.

  • Part A provides inpatient/hospital coverage.

  • Part B provides outpatient/medical coverage.

  • Part C offers an alternate way to receive your Medicare benefits through a private insurance company.

  • Part D provides prescription drug coverage.

Q: How do I choose providers for part C or D?

A: Plans can be selected by creating an online account at and using the online comparison tools. The plan you choose should be appropriate for your personal healthcare needs. The Council on Aging of Etowah County has certified state health insurance counselors available to assist you with plan selection for Medicare parts C and D. Call us at 256-543-3616 to make an appointment. Counseling by phone is available until April 30, 2020.

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