Content starts here
AARP AARP States Florida

Navigating Your Benefits with AARP

Once a year, Medicare gives its nearly 65 million beneficiaries a chance to step back, review their coverage and make any changes that will help them get the best out of the federal government’s health insurance program for adults ages 65 and over and people with disabilities. Many older adults survive on fixed incomes and rely on programs like Medicare and Social Security for necessities. This year, Medicare Open Enrollment begins on October 15 and runs through December 7. AARP can help you plan for open enrollment, navigate these programs and access your benefits.

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older. Other people also qualify for Medicare, including certain younger people with disabilities, or people with End-Stage Renal Disease. There are four different parts of Medicare help cover specific services:

  • Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)
    Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care. Most people don’t have to pay a premium for Part A and have already paid in the form of the Medicare tax deductions on your paycheck, but there may be a deductible if you are admitted to the hospital.
  • Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)
    Part B covers certain doctors' services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services. Part B involves more costs than Part A, and the federal government sets the Part B premium.
  • Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage)Part C is the private health insurance alternative to the federally run original Medicare. This is a one-stop shopping choice that combines various parts of Medicare into one plan.
  • Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage)
    Part D helps cover the cost of prescription drugs (including many recommended shots or vaccines). You can buy a Part D plan through a private insurer, but each plan generally has premiums and other out-of-pocket costs.

If you’re new to Medicare Enrollment, AARP offers a step-by-step enrollment guide. You have the option to explore the guide on your own or answer 3 short questions to give you a personalized introduction to Medicare. This guide helps you make key decisions as you approach your 65th birthday, such as a choice between original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. If you're already getting benefits from Social Security, you'll automatically be enrolled in both Part A and Part B starting the first day of the month you turn 65.

Stay tuned with all of the Medicare updates online at the AARP Medicare Resource Center, which offers free resources like the Medicare Question and Answer Tool. Help your loved ones understand the enrollment process, and learn more about Medicare with our online learning series. Stay tuned for events online and near you to learn more.

About AARP Florida
Contact information and more from your state office. Learn what we are doing to champion social change and help you live your best life.