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The 4 parts of Medicare and what they cover

Medicare is made up of four parts. Two of those parts are sponsored by the Federal government and two refer to plans you can get from private health insurance companies, like UCare.


When to enroll in Medicare

Most people are eligible for Medicare at age 65. If you’re already receiving Social Security benefits, you’ll be enrolled automatically.

If you’re not receiving Social Security benefits, you’ll need to sign up for Medicare. You have seven months to sign up for Medicare — three months before your 65th birthday, the month of your 65th birthday, and three months after your 65th birthday.

Example: Your birthday July 4

Medicare enrollment calendar: 3 months before and 3 months after 65th birthday


A note on delaying enrollment
You can wait to enroll if you plan to keep working and have coverage through your employer or your spouse’s employer.


How to enroll in Medicare

You can sign up for Medicare three ways:

  • Online at
  • By phone at 1-800-772-1213
  • In person at a Social Security Office

Learn more about the enrollment process

Getting a Medicare Advantage, Medigap plan

Once you’re enrolled in Original Medicare, you can decide to enroll in a Part C (Medicare Advantage) or Medigap plan from a private insurance company.

There are multiple timeframes where you can enroll in or change your plan choice:

Initial enrollment

This is when you first become eligible for Medicare. During that time, you can enroll in Medigap and Part D plans (if you choose Original Medicare) or a Medicare Advantage Plan for the current year.

Annual Election Period

After your initial enrollment, you can make changes to your plan choices for the following year during the Annual Election Period (AEP) from October 15 to December 7.

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA-OEP)

During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA-OEP), Medicare Advantage members may enroll in another Medicare Advantage plan or disenroll from their Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare (limited to one change). This period runs from January 1 through March 31.

In addition to these time frames, there are special circumstances in which you can enroll or make changes. For example, if you were covered by your employer’s plan and didn’t enroll during the initial enrollment period or you moved to a new area with different plan options.

For all of the details on enrollment guidelines and requirements, visit

Medicare FAQs

Over the years, we’ve heard a thing or two from Medicare shoppers. From our Medicare Meetups, phone consultations and one-on-one meetings with people just like you – we’ve compiled answers to a list of some common questions we hear.

Medicare FAQs

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Get a Medicare de-complicator guide to go

Our Medicare de-complicator guide can be your go-to resource about all things Medicare.

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Attend an online Medicare meeting

We’ve moved our Medicare Meetups online. Get ready to choose a Medicare plan that’s right for you.

What's next?

We’re ready when you are. Take the next step.