If you are age 65 or older and a citizen of the United States, it is likely you qualify for Medicare, the federal health insurance program.

When you turn 65, you’ll get a 7-month window of time to sign up for Medicare. It’s called your Initial Enrollment Period. This period starts 3 months before the month you turn 65, and extends until 3 months after your birthday month.

You may also qualify if you have certain disabilities or medical conditions. Qualifying conditions include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). 

Original Medicare provides three primary specific areas of coverage: hospital insurance (Part A), medical insurance (Part B), and prescription drug coverage (Part D). 

Medicare Advantage is another option for getting insurance coverage, available through Medicare-approved private companies. Medicare Advantage plans provide Part A and Part B of Original Medicare and some plans may include Part D.

They may also offer additional benefits not included with Original Medicare such as vision, hearing, and dental coverage.

Learn more about Medicare enrollment timing with the easy-to-follow, interactive flowchart below.