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Whispering to Granddad

Medicare 101

Medicare is a federal health insurance program that provides coverage for eligible individuals who are 65 years of age or older, as well as certain younger individuals with disabilities, end-stage renal disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Medicare Parts

When you first sign up for Medicare, and during certain times of the year, you can choose how to get your Medicare coverage. There are 2 main options to get Medicare:

Original Medicare

  • Includes Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) & Part B (Medical Insurance) 

  • You can join a separete Medicare drug plan to Medicare drug coverage (Part D)

  • You can use any doctor or hospital that takes Medicare, Anywhere in the U.S.

  • To help pay your out-of-pocket costs in Original Medicare (like your 20% co-insurance), you can also shop for and buy supplemental coverage. 

Medicare Advantage

(also known as Part C)

  • Medicare Advantage is a Medicare-approved plan from a private company that offers an alternative to Original Medicare for your health and drug coverage. These “bundled” plans include Part A, Part B, and usually Part D.

  • In many cases, you can only use doctors who are in the plan’s network.

  • In some cases, you can only use doctors who are in the plan’s network.

  • Plans may have lower or higher out-of-pocket costs than Original Medicare. You may also have an additional premium.

  • Plans may offer some extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover— like certain vision, hearing, and dental services.

Medicare Parts .png

To be eligible for Medicare, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be 65 years of age or older.*

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident who has lived in the U.S. for at least five years.

  • You or your spouse must have worked and paid into Medicare for at least 10 years.

* If you're younger than 65, you may still be eligible for Medicare if you have certain disabilities or medical conditions.


Most people are automatically enrolled in Medicare when they turn 65 if they are already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits. If you're not automatically enrolled, you can enroll during the initial enrollment period, which is the three months before and after your 65th birthday. 

Medicare initial enrollment period

If you need to sign up for Parts A & B go to your local Social Security Administration office OR go online to


How much does Medicare cost?

Most people don't have to pay a premium for Part A if they or their spouse have paid Medicare taxes while working. Part B and Part D have monthly premiums, and there may be additional costs such as deductibles and copays depending on the plan you choose.

Want to review your plan?

In Minot, deciphering Medicare options is made simpler with the expertise of 701 Healthcare Solutions. Our dedicated team ensures you receive tailored assistance, addressing your specific needs at every turn. Whether you require aid with enrollment, prescription drug evaluations, or plan assessments, our local professionals are here to guide you through the process. Count on us to maximize the benefits of your health insurance plan.

Our partners

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And more...

Medicare can be a complex topic, so it's always a good idea to talk to a Medicare expert or visit the official Medicare website to learn more about the program and how it can benefit you.

Contact us today, we can help find you the right Medicare plan.

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