Medicare was created as part of the 1965 Amendments to Social Security that created Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare is Health Insurance Coverage (Hospital Part A and Medical Part B) for people 65 or older, certain people under 65 with disabilities and people any age with End Stage Renal Disease(ESRD) and Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS. It was put into place to supplement Social Security which came about in the 1930’s under Roosevelt. Your first chance to get Medicare usually begins 3 months before you turn 65 and ends 3 months after. But, there are other Special Enrollment Periods(SEP’s) when you can enroll as well.
You can only enroll in Medicare at certain times and the cost can go up the longer you wait. Signing up late can mean a lifetime of penalties and delays in when your coverage can start. Deciding to enroll is an important decision and largely depends upon the coverage you have now. If you are already collecting Social Security or getting benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board(RRB), you will be automatically enrolled.