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What is Medicare?

Medicare is a health care program run by the federal government. There are different parts to Medicare:

  • Part A covers hospital care; most people get Part A when they sign up for Medicare.
  • Part B helps cover doctor services and outpatient care. 
  • Part C plans cover all Medicare Parts A and B benefits, and most offer more. 
  • Part D covers prescription drug coverage.
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How do I qualify for Medicare?

You qualify for Medicare if:

  • You’re age 65 or older and a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. 
  • You’re under 65 and living with certain disabilities.
  • You have end-stage renal disease (your kidneys can no longer work well enough to keep you alive).
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What kinds of Medicare plans are there?

Medicare plans offered by private insurance companies cover a wide range of benefits. But, they come in three basic types: 

  • Plans that cover the same as Original Medicare but may offer other benefits. They’re called Part C or Medicare Advantage plans.
  • Plans that offer Medicare prescription drug coverage. These are known as Part D plans. 
  • Plans that cover costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover. They’re known as Medicare supplement plans.
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How do you sign up for Medicare?

You don't have to do it alone.  There's lots of help. You can: 

Talk to a licensed insurance agent

Optum Care Network doesn’t sell insurance. But we can refer you to a licensed insurance agent. Agents are trained to explain Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare supplement insurance and prescription drug plans. To find an agent:

View our list of licensed insurance agents.

View list

Get help from an Optum Care Network representative

Our senior ambassadors can answer your questions about how Medicare works. Contact us, and we’ll reach out to you. Give us a call:

Toll-free 1-888-767-2222 (TTY/TTD 1-800-735-2922)
Mon.–Fri., 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. local time

Contact Medicare 

Visit Or call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.