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What is Medicare?

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Call Us: 866-627-6705 (TTY 711)
Medicare Advantage: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday-Saturday
All other inquiries: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday
Email: medicare-AT-bcbsks-DOT-com

What is Medicare?

Medicare was designed to help you afford good health care. It comes in Parts A, B, C, D. Parts A and B are called “Original Medicare” and are provided by the government. Parts A and B cover some basics, like hospital stays and doctor visits, but they don’t cover everything. You’ll want more coverage to help pay for services not included in Original Medicare or to add benefits like prescription drug coverage or dental insurance.

Understanding the basics of Medicare

Part A (Hospital Insurance)

Helps cover:

  • Inpatient care in a hospital
  • Skilled nursing facility care
  • Hospice care
  • Home health care

Part B (Medical Insurance)

Helps cover:

  • Services from doctors and other health care providers
  • Outpatient care
  • Home health care
  • Durable medical equipment (like wheelchairs, walkers and hospital beds)
  • Many preventive services (like screenings, shots and wellness visits)

Medicare Supplement Insurance1

Also referred to as Medigap, this optional coverage is private health insurance that helps supplement Original Medicare. It helps pay some of the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn't cover (like copayments, coinsurance and deductibles). Medicare Supplement Insurance plans are identified by letters such as Plan A. The basic benefits of each plan are exactly alike for all insurance companies. To purchase a supplement policy, you must be enrolled in both Part A and Part B.
1 Not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or Federal Medicare Program.

Part C (Medicare Advantage)

Helps cover:

  • Medicare Advantage is an "all in one" alternative to Original Medicare (Parts A & B).
  • These bundled plans include Part A, Part B and usually Part D.
  • Run by private insurance plans with their own local network of providers, generally an HMO or PPO style plan.
  • They may include extra benefits like hearing and dental.

Part D (Medical Prescription Drug Coverage)

Helps cover:

  • Cost of outpatient prescription drugs
  • Covers generic and brand-name drugs
  • Run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies, with standardized benefits
  • Available as a stand-alone plan or to complement your existing coverage.

If you have any questions about Medicare or your eligibility, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.
TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.

Enrollment details

Working for Kansas since 1942, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas has been a solid neighbor you can trust. Just like you, we call Kansas home. What is important to you, is important to us.

Get original medicare

Apply for Medicare benefits (Part A and B) if retiring at age 65(and not already receiving Social Security benefits) three months before your 65th birth month.

Complete your coverage

Call us to review options to help bridge the gaps in your Medicare coverage. You are guaranteed acceptance with Blue Cross when enrolling within six months of your Part B effective date or 65th birthday. Enroll in a Part D Prescription Drug plan if not covered under Medicare Advantage.

Renew or change each year

Protect the whole you with additional coverage such as Dental, Hospital Indemnity, or a Cancer plan.

Things to know if you're still working past 65

If you are enrolled in employer-sponsored health insurance and you plan to keep working, you need to know your options.

Here are some important things to know about how you might want to use Medicare.

How many people are in your company?

When you work for a larger employer, you have choices:

  • Staying on Employer's Plan

    Your employer-sponsored health insurance will be the "primary payer" and Medicare will be the "secondary payer". In other words… When you file a claim, your employer-sponsored health insurance will pay first and Medicare will pay second.

  • Leaving Employer's Plan for Medicare

    As great as it is… Medicare alone can leave you responsible for thousands of dollars out of your pocket. If you cancel your employer-sponsored health insurance for Medicare, you will want to add a Medicare Supplement, like Plan 65. Plan 65 helps fill the gaps that Medicare leaves behind.

When you work for a smaller employer, you have choices:

  • Staying on Employer's Plan

    Medicare will be the "primary payer" and your employer-sponsored health insurance will be the "secondary payer". In other words… When you file a claim, Medicare will pay first and your employer-sponsored health insurance will pay second.

  • Leaving Employer's Plan for Medicare

    While Medicare provides important coverage, only being covered by Medicare alone can leave you responsible for thousands of dollars out of your pocket. If you cancel your employer-sponsored health insurance for Medicare, you will want to add a Medicare Supplement, like Plan 65. Plan 65 helps fill the gaps that Medicare leaves behind.

Here's how to sign up for Medicare.

Visit Medicare.gov to apply for Medicare online. Or, you can go to your local Social Security office - You’ll need an original or certified copy of your birth certificate, any W-2 forms from the past two years and your Social Security Number (SSN) or card.

Ready to enroll in Medicare?

Visit Medicare.gov to apply for Medicare online.

IMPORTANT: If you decide not to enroll in Medicare Part B when you're first eligible, you may have to pay late-enrollment fees should you decide to enroll at a later date. Plus, you may be responsible for the medical expenses Medicare Part B would have covered.

e_716 10/19 Not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or the Federal Medicare Program. Rev. 10/19

Call now 866-627-6705 (TTY 711)

Medicare Advantage: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday-Saturday

All other inquiries: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday

medicare-AT-bcbsks-DOT-com

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is a PPO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Medicare Advantage depends on contract renewal. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Call 800-222-7645 (TTY:711) for more information.

1133 S.W. Topeka Blvd. Topeka, KS 66629-0001

H7063_E19Web_M CMS Approved 06122019
Last updated 06/12/2019

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