Medicare is a federal health insurance program designed to assist individuals aged 65 years and older, those with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), or certain younger individuals with disabilities. Beneficiaries typically pay a monthly premium for Medicare coverage and contribute toward the costs each time they receive a covered service. It provides essential health coverage and helps manage medical expenses for eligible individuals.

Are you new to new to Medicare? If so, here are five things you should know:


People qualify for Medicare in different ways. You become eligible when you turn 65, or if you’ve received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or certain Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) disability benefits for at least 24 months. No waiting period applies if you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and some individuals with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) may also be eligible.

Automatic Enrollment

If you’re already receiving Social Security due to disability or retirement, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). However, if you’re not getting Social Security, you’ll need to sign up for both Part A and Part B within the enrollment period.

Enrollment Periods

You can sign up for Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which lasts for 7 months. It begins 3 months before you turn 65 and ends 3 months after your birthday month. Premium-free Part A coverage can start 6 months back from your application date, but no earlier than your first month of eligibility for Medicare.

Coverage Gaps

Original Medicare (Parts A and B) doesn’t cover everything. Consider additional coverage options like Medicare Part D for prescription drugs and Medicare Advantage plans that bundle health care services.

Medigap Plans

Medigap (also known as Medicare Supplement Insurance) policies help cover costs that Original Medicare doesn’t pay, such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. These plans are offered by private insurance companies like ourselves here at Hodges Insurance Agency and can provide additional financial protection for your health care expenses.

Remember, understanding Medicare thoroughly ensures you make informed decisions about your health coverage! We at Hodges Insurance Agency are here to help. We have over 40 years of experience helping find people the right coverage for their specific needs, and we would be happy to assist you. Call us today or submit a contact form to set up an appointment to speak with one of our qualified agents.​

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