Most people are somewhat familiar with Medicare, since it's likely they or a family member are already covered by the government-provided health insurance program. But with its alphabet soup of options and complex rules, Medicare can be daunting to the uninitiated.
If you're approaching 65, here are some Medicare basics you'll need to know:
Medicare provides benefits to people age 65 and older and those under 65 with certain disabilities or end-stage renal disease. Most people's initial enrollment period is the seven months beginning three months before the month they turn 65. If you miss that window, you may enroll between January 1 and March 31 each year, with coverage beginning July 1.