If you’re new to Medicare

• Learn about your Medicare choices. There are 2 different ways to get
your Medicare coverage—see the next few pages to learn more.
• Find out how and when you can sign up. If you don’t have Medicare
Part A or Part B, see Section 1, which starts on page 15. If you don’t have
Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D), see Section 6, which starts
on page 73. There may be penalties if you don’t sign up when you’re first
• If you have other health insurance, see pages 20–21 to find out how it
works with Medicare.
If you already have Medicare:
• You don’t need to sign up for Medicare each year. However, you can
review your Medicare health and prescription drug coverage and make
changes each year.
• Mark your calendar with these important dates! This may be the only

chance you have each year to make changes to your coverage.
October 1, 2018
Start comparing your coverage with other
options. You may be able to save money. Visit
October 15 to
December 7, 2018
Change your Medicare health or prescription drug
coverage for 2019, if you decide to. This includes
returning to Original Medicare or joining a Medicare
Advantage Plan.
January 1, 2019
New coverage begins if you made a change. If you
kept your existing coverage and your plan’s costs or
benefits changed, those changes will also start on
this date.
January 1 to
March 31, 2019
If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can
make one change to a different plan or switch
back to Original Medicare (and join a stand-alone
Medicare Prescription Drug Plan) once during this
time. Any changes you make will be effective the
first of the month after the plan gets your request.
See page 57.

provide an overview of your Medicare options

What are the parts
of Medicare?
Part A (Hospital Insurance)
Helps cover:
• Inpatient care in hospitals
• Skilled nursing facility care
• Hospice care
• Home health care
See pages 25–28.
Part B (Medical Insurance)
Helps cover:
• Services from doctors and other health care providers
• Outpatient care
• Home health care
• Durable medical equipment (like wheelchairs, walkers,
hospital beds, and other equipment and supplies)
• Many preventive services (like screenings, shots, and yearly
“Wellness” visits)
See pages 29–49.
Part D (Prescription drug coverage)
Helps cover:
• Cost of prescription drugs
Part D plans are run by private insurance companies that
follow rules set by Medicar


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