What you should know about signing up for Medicare and how to get help

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A report released on Thursday, May 2, 2019, by the Congressional Budget Office is photographed in Washington. Budget experts for Congress say the Trump administration’s plan to reduce out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries will cost taxpayers another $177 billion from 2020-2029. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WAVY & NBC News) – When signing up for Medicare or helping a family member enroll, you may have questions about where to start and what plans cover. You must sign up for medicare within four months of turning 65, or you may have to pay penalties.

Medicare Part A pays for hospital stays once you turn 65.

Medicare Part B is the government insurance to pay doctors and other medical providers in retirement.

Medicare Part C includes private health insurance companies who contract with the govenment.

Medicare Part D is optional and helps pay for prescriptions.

Free assistance is available to help you sign up for Medicare if you live in Virginia or North Carolina.

For nationwide help, click here.

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