What You Should Know About Signing Up for Medicare

Injured man signing a settlement offer from the attorney.

Medicare is a government program for health insurance that is important for you to be aware of. Why? Medicare offers certain advantages to those who are eligible. Here’s everything you need to know about it before deciding if it is for you.

When It’s Available

Medicare is not a program that everybody automatically qualifies for. The vast majority of those who use it are sixty-five or older. In fact, you are not eligible to sign up for Medicare until you are sixty-five (although there are some exceptions). Medicare is a program mainly for senior citizens who normally could not afford healthcare. 

The exceptions are for younger people with certain disabilities, or for those who have end-stage renal disease (ESRD) which is essentially kidney failure. If you want to know if your disability will qualify you for Medicare, you should check the official government website.

What Medicare Covers

The scope of Medicare and its coverage varies depending on your plan. There are three basic parts of possible Medicare coverage. The first is hospital insurance, which covers stays at hospitals, some forms of in-home care, stays in a facility, and more. Hospice care is usually covered by Medicare and long-term care insurance. The second is medical insurance for some other aspects, like preventative doctor’s services or prescribed medical equipment. 

The third is pharmaceutical insurance that pays for prescription drugs. Most people don’t even have to pay a premium for their insurance if they have previously paid some Medicare-related taxes. Use the Medicare resources on their site to know the different costs for the other types of coverage.

Is Medicare Right for Me?

Medicare is certainly a good thing, but it works best for only certain kinds of people. It tends to be cheaper while still covering all of the basic and most important facets of care. However, the disadvantage is that it doesn’t quite cover all of the bits and pieces that most private insurance companies offer. Remember, medical insurance obtained through a benefit at a company can have some of the cost offset by that company. Medicare is also preferable for those who don’t have any dependents that they would need to worry about – it’s more individual.


Medicare is a tool. It works fantastic for some people who belong to a certain demographic – whereas others might not want it until they’re sixty-five, if at all. Consider your options carefully and make sure you’re educated on what Medicare can do for you before you sign up.

Here’s more to read: What You Need to Maintain Bone Strength as You Get Older