It doesn't just kick in. You have some work to make it happen.
Retirement is a general word that includes Medicare, Social Security and many other retirement options and those can become challenging and confusing, according to newsok.com in “The ABCs (And D's) of Medicare and other retirement questions answered.”
Both Social Security and Medicare are not programs that kick in automatically. They require recipients to take action. These systems may have started out simple. However, now they are complex and not so easy to navigate.
Medicare, Part A, also called original Medicare, is managed by Medicare and provides Medicare benefits and coverage for inpatient hospital care, inpatient stays in most skilled nursing facilities and hospice and home care services.
Part B is managed by Medicare and provides Medicare benefits for doctors and clinical lab services, outpatient and preventive care, home health care, screenings, surgical fees and supplies and physical and occupational therapy.
Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is a different way of receiving Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans combine Part A and B together in one plan. They can also be combined with Part D prescription drug coverage, which is then considered a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plan.
Those plans are offered as a stand-alone plan known as Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) or can be combined with a Medicare Advantage Plan, also called a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MA-PD) Plan. Part D plans help cover the cost of prescriptions, helping to lower some prescription costs and protecting against higher costs in the future.
That's just for starters. There are also deadlines that must be met, or certain costs become higher.
Getting up to speed on all these systems before you have to make decisions, is the best way to prepare yourself. You'll want the coverage that works best for your situation.
Reference: newsok.com (Sep. 3, 2018) “The ABCs (And D's) of Medicare and other retirement questions answered”