Going into your retirement years brings up tons of new topics you have to grapple with. One of the most frustrating can be Medicare. Figuring out what too enroll in, what coverage will be best for you and when to enroll is a tall order. Here are some things that may help you ease into the water as you try to make decisions.

Medicare is divided into 3 parts, A,B, and D. Part A pays for hospital services, is free as long as either you or your spouse paid into Medicare payroll taxes for at least ten years. If you aren’t eligible you can pay a monthly premium of several hundred dollars. Part B will cover doctor visits and service provided on an outpatient basis. That is a monthly cost of about 104.90 Part D, covers prescription drug costs and it also has a monthly charge which varies according to which plan you choose. On average the premium is about 31 dollars a month. Aside from these monthly premiums, you will also be responsible for co-payments, deductibles, and any other out of pocket costs.

If you are eligible for Medicare then you will likely want to sign up for medigap. This is a supplemental insurance plan that is offered by private insurance companies. Its purpose is to help cover the costs of co-payments, deductibles and any other gaps. You are able to switch medigap plans at any time, however you could be charged more or denied coverage based on your health if you decide to change plans more than six months after you signed up for Part B.

You can decide to sign up for traditional Medicare, Parts A,B and D and a supplemental medigap policy. You can also choose another route like signing up for Medicare Advantage. This offers comprehensive coverage through private insurance companies. If you have Medicare Advantage you don’t have to sign up for Part D.

There is a seven month initial enrollment period and it begins three months before you turn 65 and it ends three months after your birthday month.