March 9, 2021

Dear Neighbor,

Did you know that some individuals get Medicare coverage automatically, and others have to sign up for coverage? You may have to sign up if you’re 65, or almost 65, and not currently getting Social Security. Many Americans don't realize that they may have to pay a penalty if they do not enroll in Medicare Part B coverage when they are first eligible.  

I recently hosted a virtual Medicare 101 Forum with Diana Varela of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Sharon Graham of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to help guide constituents on their individual Medicare journeys. 

Our Forum provides essential information and answers common questions about Medicare, including: 

  • Who is eligible for Medicare?
  • How do I enroll in Medicare?
  • When can I enroll in Medicare?
    • Initial Enrollment Period: beginning 3 months before and ending 3 months after your 65th birthday
    • General Enrollment Period: January 1 to March 31, with coverage beginning in July
    • Special Enrollment Period: applies if you are 65 and over and covered in a group health plan based on your or your spouse’s current employment  
  • How much will Medicare Coverage cost?
  • What help is available for people with limited income and resources?
  • What are the different parts of Medicare?
    • Part A – Hospital Insurance 
    • Part B – Medical Insurance 
    • Part D – Prescription Drug Care 
    • Medigap (also known as Supplemental Insurance Coverage) 
    • Medicare Advantage (includes Part A, B, D and extra benefits)
  • What care does Medicare cover? What care is not covered by Part A and Part B?
  • What factors should I consider when deciding if I should enroll in Medicare?
  • What should I do if I disagree with a denial of coverage for care I received?

Because Social Security and Medicare services are often related, it can be confusing to determine which agency to contact for help. I encourage you to use this chart to help you determine which agency to contact. 

I encourage all interested constituents to watch our virtual forum by clicking here or clicking the image below. 

If you have any questions, please call my District Office at 301-354-1000.


As always, I encourage people across the 8th District to continue to share their concerns and insights with me and my staff by contacting my office or connecting with me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram

All Best,


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