Do you have to pay for Medicare when you turn 65?

People aged 65 and older and people with certain disabilities are eligible to sign up for Medicare insurance coverage. There are two main parts to Medicare, Part A, and Part B, and each covers different medical needs. You have to pay for Medicare when you turn 65 if you want to have Part B coverage, or you can choose not to pay for Medicare and use private health insurance.

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Written by D. Gilson, PhD
Professor & Published Author D. Gilson, PhD

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 1, 2022

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The Highlights

  • Medicare coverage is available to U.S. citizens aged 65 and older
  • There are two parts to Medicare coverage, Part A and Part B
  • Part A is free, but you have to pay premiums for Part B coverage
  • You can take Part A coverage without taking Part B coverage

Medicare is a health insurance program set up for people aged 65 and older. People with certain disabilities who are younger than 65 can also qualify for Medicare coverage. Do you have to pay for Medicare when you turn 65?

The Medicare program was designed to help older people cover health insurance costs, but it is important to note that Medicare may not cover all health or medical expenses.

When it comes to choosing how you are covered under Medicare you can choose Part A coverage, or full coverage with Medicare Part A and Part B. Since Medicare won’t cover all health and medical costs, many people choose to also purchase a supplemental health insurance plan to cover Medicare’s insurance gaps. These are called Medigap plans.

What you choose to pay for is up to you, but before you make a decision, read on to learn what your Medicare options are.

Compare affordable Medicare insurance quotes today, and enter your ZIP code above to see rates in your area.

Do you have to pay for Medicare?

Most people over the age of 65 qualify for free Part A Medicare coverage as long as they have paid into the Medicare system for long enough through their job. Medicare Part A covers hospital visits and short-term stays at nursing or rehab facilities.

Part A will also pay for some health care services as well as some hospice stays if necessary.  You don’t have to pay for Medicare Part A.

You do have to pay for Medicare Part B. This is the medical insurance part of Medicare. Part B covers the services provided by doctors and other health professionals as well as health services in-home, medical equipment, outpatient care, and preventative services.

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There are additional Medicare plans sold through private insurance companies.

These supplemental plans are legally bound to adhere to the rules of Medicare. Medicare Part C includes all the benefits of Parts A and B, but Part C includes prescription drug help, vision, dental, and hearing.

Medicare Part D is a supplemental policy that covers prescription drugs. This helps lower the out-of-pocket costs for prescription medications. Medigap insurance helps cover the costs of co-payments and health care deductibles from Medicare Part B.

Can I choose private health insurance instead of Medicare?

Yes, you can opt to buy private health insurance. You do not have to choose Medicare just because you are over the age of 65. Medicare helps reduce health insurance and hospital costs for people over 65, but you are not forced to take any part in Medicare coverage just because you are 65 or older.

However, Medicare can help you save a lot of money on your health insurance costs. If you’re ready to start comparing Medicare insurance rates in your area, enter your ZIP code below.

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