LACERA - The Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association LACERA Home Disclaimer Links My LACERA FAQs Contact Us LACERA Home

Search by Topic

Brochures & Forms



Medicare is the national, federally administered health insurance program for people age 65 or older, or for people with certain disabilities or diseases, run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, an agency of the federal government. Read more about Medicare components Part A, Part B, and Part D on the webpage links at left.


You become eligible for Medicare coverage at age 65 (three months before your 65th birthday to three months after). You should apply for Medicare as soon as you are eligible.

If you apply within three months prior to your 65th birthday, your coverage will begin on the first day of the month that you turn 65. If you don't enroll, you must wait until the general enrollment period, which is January 1 to March 31 each year.

Why is it important to enroll by March 31?

If you are over 65 and miss the March 31 deadline, you must wait until next year to enroll, and coverage would not be effective until the following July 1. Medicare also assesses a penalty of 10 percent of the cost of Part B coverage for each year that you are over age 65.

Your Medicare coverage is always primary, and your LACERA plan coverage is secondary for payment of both hospital and medical services.

Medicare Information Resources

For eligibility and general information, visit, read the Medicare basic information booklet provided by the Social Security Administration, or contact the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) at 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227).

The Medicare & You handbook is mailed to Medicare recipients every fall by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and includes comprehensive information about the Medicare program, services, and coverage.


Visit your local Social Security Administration (SSA) Office, go to, or call 800-772-1213.

Additional SSA resources to help you get started:

Medicare premium information for higher-income beneficiaries

Higher-income beneficiaries are required to pay more for Medicare premiums, based on the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) in their tax returns. More information, including the current higher-income levels and deductibles, is available at the links provided below.