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Health Insurance Basics

Making Your Move to Medicare From Health Insurance

August 07, 2017

You’ll be eligible for Medicare when you turn 65. This infographic shows how to smoothly transition to Medicare from regular health insurance, once you have the option.

Infographic Text

 

Maybe you currently have health insurance, but you’ll soon be eligible for Medicare when you turn 65. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, you only have to sign up once, you can review your Medicare health and prescription coverage every year and make changes.

Here's how to smoothly transition to Medicare from health insurance.

Set a Date
  • For most people, the initial enrollment period or the first time you can enroll starts three months before the month of your 65th birthday and ends three months after it.
  • Don’t wait to enroll, or you could pay higher coverage costs and find limited choices.
  • Open enrollment to change Medicare Advantage and/or Part D Prescription Drug Plans coverage is Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 for an effective date of Jan. 1, 2018.
Select Your Plan
  • Choose Original Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and/or Part B (medical insurance).
  • Medicare provides coverage directly; you choose providers who accept Medicare and you usually pay deductibles, coinsurance, and a monthly premium.
  • Decide if you want stand-alone Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D).
  • Decide if you want Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap) coverage for additional hospital bills and other medical expenses.

OR

  • Choose Medicare Advantage (Part C) with BOTH Parts A and B and maybe Part D and other benefits.
  • Private insurance companies provide coverage and you use plan providers. You pay a monthly premium, along with Part B’s premium, your deductible, and copayments or coinsurance.
  • Decide if you want Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D).
  • If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, make sure your favorite doctor is, too. The other options are to choose a new provider who is in the plan, or choose to pay higher costs to stay where you are.

Costs and coverage for Parts A and B are the same nationwide. Medigap, Medicare Advantage, and Part D vary by state and sometimes by county.

Make Sure
  • If you have other coverage, such as employer or union, Medicaid, TRICARE, or veterans’ benefits, you may not need more coverage through Medicare Advantage. Maybe you still want Original Medicare, however. Investigate how what you have works with Medicare.
  • When you transition to Medicare from health insurance, add up all your costs. Don’t just count premiums, but also do the math with copays, coinsurance, and deductibles.
  • If you need extra financial help, go online, call, or visit your local Social Security office.

It may seem like a lot to learn in the beginning, so take time to learn all your options. Then you’ll gain an understanding of what you need to know to transition to Medicare from health insurance. To learn more about Medicare, go to Medicare.gov.

Y0114_17_32142_I  07/28/2017
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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of: In Colorado: Rocky Mountain Hospital and Medical Service, Inc. HMO products underwritten by HMO Colorado, Inc. In Connecticut: Anthem Health Plans, Inc. In Indiana: Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. In Kentucky: Anthem Health Plans of Kentucky, Inc. In Maine: Anthem Health Plans of Maine, Inc. In Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area): RightCHOICE® Managed Care, Inc. (RIT), Healthy Alliance® Life Insurance Company (HALIC), and HMO Missouri, Inc. RIT and certain affiliates administer non-HMO benefits underwritten by HALIC and HMO benefits underwritten by HMO Missouri, Inc. RIT and certain affiliates only provide administrative services for self-funded plans and do not underwrite benefits. In Nevada: Rocky Mountain Hospital and Medical Service, Inc. HMO products underwritten by HMO Colorado, Inc., dba HMO Nevada. In New Hampshire: Anthem Health Plans of New Hampshire, Inc. HMO plans are administered by Anthem Health Plans of New Hampshire, Inc. and underwritten by Matthew Thornton Health Plan, Inc. In Ohio: Community Insurance Company. In Virginia: Anthem Health Plans of Virginia, Inc. trades as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia, and its service area is all of Virginia except for the City of Fairfax, the Town of Vienna, and the area east of State Route 123. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its affiliate HealthKeepers, Inc. In Wisconsin: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin (BCBSWi), underwrites or administers PPO and indemnity policies and underwrites the out of network benefits in POS policies offered by Compcare Health Services Insurance Corporation (Compcare) or Wisconsin Collaborative Insurance Corporation (WCIC). Compcare underwrites or administers HMO or POS policies; WCIC underwrites or administers Well Priority HMO or POS policies. Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are the registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, premiums and/or co-payments/co-insurance may change on January 1 of each year. You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium.

Attention: If you speak any language other than English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call our Customer Service number, (TTY: 711). ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame a nuestro número de Servicio de Atención al Cliente (TTY: 711). 注意:如果您使用非英語的其他語言,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電聯絡客戶服務部(聽語障用戶請致電:711)。