Medicare is the federal government's health insurance program primarily for people 65 and older. You can sign up during a seven-month window, starting three months before your 65th birthday. Learn about the different parts of the program at
. Make sure you meet the deadline for the enrollment period or you will pay a higher price for Medicare if you enroll late.
Keep in mind that Medicare doesn't cover 100% of medical costs. Retirees should consider purchasing a supplemental plan, such as
Part D coverage, to help pay for services not fully covered by Original Medicare. Using a
Medicare Advantage Plan, offered by private insurers, is another way to fill in coverage gaps.
Again, pay close attention to when you need to sign up. Medicare may impose a penalty if you don't sign up for Medicare Part B and Part D when initially eligible.
If you’re retired and do not have Medicare, you can use the Marketplace to buy an insurance plan. If you retire before you're 65 and lose your job-based health plan, you can use the Health Insurance Marketplace to buy a plan.