Like Social Security, it’s a benefit that you’ve been funding for years as a working taxpayer.
And as long as your work history (or your spouse’s) spans at least 10 years, you’ll pay nothing for Medicare’s Part A (hospital coverage) and an income-based amount for Part B (doctor’s visits).
You should make sure to sign up during your initial enrollment window, which opens three months before your birthday month and ends three months after it.
If you sign up after that, you could end up paying late-enrollment penalties unless you meet an exclusion (i.e., you still have health insurance through work).
Yet even for those who sign up as soon as they can, unanticipated costs and coverage gaps can catch them flat-footed.
Watch the above video to find out what Medicare does and does not cover and how to prepare for extra costs.