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Medicare for Older Adults

Medicare is a federal health insurance program, covering a wide range of services to keep you healthy as you get older. Learn more about the different parts of Medicare, how to enroll, what it could cost, and what health care services Medicare does and does not cover.

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What Is Medicare? A Guide from NCOA

If you're turning 65, you're eligible to apply for Medicare. But oftentimes, understanding the different parts of Medicare, when to enroll, and which type of care is not covered by Medicare can seem complicated. That's why we've created this helpful guide

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Learn the basics of Medicare, including the minimum age for Medicare, who receives Medicare, and the difference between Medicare Part A and B.

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Sponsored by state Medicaid agencies, Medicare Savings Programs relieve some out-of-pocket Medicare expenses for people with low income.

Jan 14, 2023

What Are Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs)?

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Veterans age 65 or older can enroll in Medicare while maintaining their VA or TRICARE for Life benefits. Learn how it works.

Jan 10, 2023

How Does Medicare Work with VA Benefits and TRICARE for Life?

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Congress eliminated cost-sharing for all vaccines covered under Medicare Part D, meaning Medicare now covers the entire cost of the shingles vaccine and others recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Jan 3, 2023

Medicare and Medicaid Now Fully Cover Preventive Vaccines

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Medicaid is a public health insurance program for people with low income and limited resources. Find out who is eligible and how to apply.

Dec 9, 2022

What Is Medicaid? A Guide for Older Adults

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A close up shot of a Shingles vaccine vial with a syringe in the foreground.

Dec 7, 2022

Is There a Free Shingles Vaccine for Seniors? Here’s What You Should Know

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Medicare Advantage and Medigap are not the same. Learn how these plans work, the differences between the two, and the pros and cons of each.

Dec 2, 2022

What Is the Difference Between Medicare Advantage and Medigap?

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Learn how to search for your best Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage plan, when to sign up, and more.

Nov 30, 2022

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage: What Older Adults Need to Know

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If you receive both Medicare and Medicaid, you may qualify for a Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP), which combines all your benefits into one plan. Here’s what older adults need to know.

Nov 30, 2022

What Is a Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP)?

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Original Medicare excludes most dental, vision, and hearing care services—with some exceptions. Here’s what older adults need to know.

Nov 22, 2022

What Medicare Covers for Dental, Vision, and Hearing: A Guide for Older Adults

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Original Medicare does not cover 20% of your medical costs or prescription drugs. To bridge the cost gap, people with Medicare can choose Medicare Supplement (Medigap) or Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) coverage.

Nov 18, 2022

How to Cover the Medical Costs Medicare Doesn't Cover

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There’s Medicare Open Enrollment, 10/5-12/7, and Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment, 1/1-3/31. Find out how they differ and how to make the most of these options.

Nov 12, 2022

What's the Difference Between Medicare's Open Enrollment Period and Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment?

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Does Medicare cover you anywhere you go? From Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, find out how portable your benefits are.

Nov 10, 2022

Does Medicare Cover You Anywhere?

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During Medicare Open Enrollment (Oct. 15-Dec. 7), ads for Medicare Advantage plans may intentionally or unintentionally mislead you into thinking one plan is better for you than another. Here's what to look out for.

Nov 4, 2022

Misleading Medicare Marketing: Don't Be Fooled During Medicare Open Enrollment

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The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is a great time to consider whether a Medicare Advantage plan is right for you. Here’s what you should know.

Oct 31, 2022

3 Things You Should Know About Medicare Advantage Plans

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A hundred dollar bill, with Ben Franklin showing through, is surrounded with prescription pills.

Oct 27, 2022

What Are the Costs of Medicare Advantage?

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A close up shot of the parts of a stethoscope surrounding a white, porcelain piggy bank on a light blue background.

Oct 24, 2022

Medicare Parts A and B Costs

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Non-medical supplemental benefits are something to think about when choosing a Medicare Advantage plan. Learn about some of the latest extra coverages available.

Oct 21, 2022

The New, Non-Medical Benefits of Medicare Advantage Plans in 2023

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Most Medicare Advantage (MA) plans include Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D). Here’s what you should know when choosing an MA plan.

Oct 17, 2022

Are Prescriptions Covered Under Medicare Advantage Plans?

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Closeup shot of a hospital bill alongside a Medicare enrollment form.

Oct 12, 2022

Medicare Enrollment Periods

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Use this handy checklist from NCOA and Aetna if you’re considering making changes to your current Medicare Advantage plan or enrolling in a new one during the Annual Enrollment Period.

Oct 3, 2022

A 7-Point Checklist for Choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan

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Learn what you may pay for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.

Sep 30, 2022

What Medicare Part D Costs in 2023

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A telehealth service is a full visit with a provider that requires real-time communication through audio and video technology.​ Find out how Medicare covers telehealth.

Aug 6, 2022

How Medicare Covers Telehealth Services

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Introduced in 2011, the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit is a free benefit focused on health promotion and preventive care.

Jul 28, 2022

The Medicare Annual Wellness Visit: What Older Adults Should Know

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For people enrolled in Original Medicare (Parts A & B) the differences between a participating provider, a non-participating provider, and an opt-out provider, are important to understand.

Jul 28, 2022

What the 3 Types of Health Care Providers Mean for Medicare Beneficiaries

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Make sure you read your Medicare notices. They include important information, such as why your care was denied and how you can appeal.

Jul 11, 2022

How to Appeal a Medicare Coverage Denial

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With rising costs, it’s natural to be worried about affording your insulin. Learn what Medicare covers and how you can save on your diabetes medication.

Jul 11, 2022

Diabetes and Insulin: A Guide to Paying with Medicare

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An up close shot of a senior man's hearing aid.

Jun 21, 2022

Medicare and Hearing Health for Seniors

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Help fight Medicare fraud and abuse this Medicare Fraud Prevention Week and all year long with these tips from the Senior Medicare Patrol.

Jun 1, 2022

Medicare Fraud And Abuse: How Seniors Can Protect Themselves

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A senior Caucasian woman is at her mailbox collecting letters, looking straight on at the camera.

May 25, 2022

Did You Receive a Letter from the Social Security Administration? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Benefits Enrollment Centers (BECs) help Medicare-eligible, low-income older adults and younger adults with disabilities find and enroll in all the benefits programs for which they qualify.

May 19, 2022

How Do Benefits Enrollment Centers Help Older Adults?

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close up of brain scans

Apr 18, 2022

Alzheimer's Drug Aduhelm Narrowly Covered by Medicare

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A senior Black woman is receiving medical treatment in the hospital.

Mar 2, 2022

What Is the Medicare Deductible?

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Stethoscope and $100 bills stacked together.

Jan 26, 2022

Medicaid and Medicare Savings Programs

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A doctor takes a nasal swab from a senior woman for genetic testing.

Jan 3, 2022

Get the Facts on Medicare Coverage for COVID-19

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Three donuts stacked on a plate on top of money.

Dec 22, 2021

How to Avoid the Medicare Part D Donut Hole

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A senior Hispanic woman is getting her pneumonia vaccine.

Nov 23, 2021

Does Medicare Cover the Pneumonia Vaccine?

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A close up shot of "Medicare" and "Medicaid" stamped on cardboard, along with a smattering of prescription pills.

Oct 18, 2021

How to Move from Expansion Medicaid to Medicare

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Older Hispanic man getting mail out of his mailbox outside.

Sep 28, 2021

Junk or Not? How to Sort Your Medicare Mail

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A caucasian male doctor is giving medical advice to his older adult patient.

Sep 22, 2021

Transitioning from the Health Insurance Marketplace to Medicare

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A close up shot of a birthday cake with a lot of candles being lit.

Sep 15, 2021

Turning 65? Follow Your Path to Medicare

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A copy of the Affordable Care Act with a stethoscope

Sep 15, 2021

Medicare and the Marketplace: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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A close up shot of a checklist on a clipboard.

Aug 31, 2021

Checklist to Help You Choose a Medicare Part D Plan

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A close up shot of a birthday cake with a lot of candles being lit.

Jul 29, 2021

It's Medicare's Birthday. A Time for Reflection. A Time for Change.

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Our integrated care toolkit breaks down Medicare and Medicaid coverage options in an easy-to-understand format for counselors and consumers.

Jul 17, 2021

Obesity Treatment and Medicare: A Guide to Understanding Coverage

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A senior Caucasian woman is listening to her healthcare options from a Black female doctor.

Jul 16, 2021

Choice Error: How Choosing A Medicare Plan Could Impact Your Finances and Health

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A senior Caucasian man is at his doctor's office receiving a wellness exam. The Black doctor is examining the man's throat.

Jul 7, 2021

Using Medicare Benefits Post-COVID

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A close up shot of a handbook with the words "Federal Employees Health Benefits Program" on the face.

Jun 29, 2021

How Medicare Works with Federal Employee Health Insurance

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Learn the basics of Medicare, including the minimum age for Medicare, who receives Medicare, and the difference between Medicare Part A and B.

May 7, 2021

What Is Medicare and How Do I Get Started?

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Two people, whose faces can't be seen, are sitting at a table discussing finances together with their computers.

Mar 18, 2021

What Is a SHIP and How Can It Help Me?

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Glasses on top of a Medicare Enrollment Form

Feb 10, 2021

What is Medicare Advantage?

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A close up shot of a Medicare enrollment form.

Feb 9, 2021

What Is Original Medicare (Parts A and B)?

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Older hand reaching for prescriptions in medicine cabinet

Dec 7, 2020

What Is Medicare Part D?

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Senior sorts through daily prescriptions and places them into a daily pill container.

Aug 18, 2020

How to Save Money on Medications

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Medicare's hospice benefit is primarily home-based and provides support for your physical and emotional needs.

Aug 3, 2020

Hospice Care for People with Medicare

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People who enroll in Medicare Part D outside of specific periods may face a late enrollment penalty.

Jun 22, 2020

Medicare Part D Late Enrollment Penalty

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Opioids coming out of prescription pill bottle on map of the United States

Apr 28, 2020

Medicare Changes in 2020: Facts for Consumers

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A young pharmacist behind the counter is giving prescription instructions to her senior female client.

Apr 28, 2020

What Is a Part D Indication-Based Formulary?

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An older woman is supporting her senior husband while measuring blood pressure and looking at his medication.

Apr 2, 2020

Ensuring Access to Needed Medications During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Close up shot of a person holding a cell phone, looking at their calendar trying to make a decision.

Nov 23, 2019

About the Medicare General Enrollment Period

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A senior man is looking up, where many question marks surround him - indicating that he's trying to make a decision.

Oct 31, 2019

How to Choose a Medicare Plan During Open Enrollment

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An older Caucasian woman is getting an eye exam.

Sep 3, 2019

Medicare and Vision Coverage

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Older Asian couple visiting doctor's office

Jun 25, 2019

Medicare Preventive Services: Coverage and Costs

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A masked postal worker in New York City holds a canvas bag full of mail and is loading it into his vehicle before heading out for the day.

May 12, 2019

Medicare for Federal and State Employees and Retirees

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Medicare Part B covers advance care planning to decide what type of care may be right for you in the event of life-limiting conditions or illness.

Apr 8, 2019

Medicare Coverage of Advance Care Planning

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Older Caucasian couple reviewing medical information with doctor on a tablet.

Mar 30, 2019

Differences Between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage

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A closeup shot of the pages of a calendar turning, indicating time passing.

Nov 1, 2018

Understanding the Medicare Enrollment Periods

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An older Asian woman is holding a red thought bubble sign in her hand that has a yellow question mark inside of it.

Mar 30, 2018

Questions to Ask Before Joining a Medicare Advantage Plan

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A large question mark is in the center of the screen on a digital tablet that a senior person is holding.

Mar 30, 2018

Questions to Ask Before Purchasing a Medigap Policy

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A senior Caucasian woman is having her blood pressure checked while receiving care in her home.

Mar 28, 2018

4 Ways to Prevent Heart Disease Using Medicare

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Nov 28, 2016

Hospital Transition and Discharge Planning

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