Understand the basics of Medicare

Medicare is the nation's largest health insurance program, covering health care services such as hospital stays, skilled nursing and physician services for Americans.

Medicare is health insurance for:

People age 65 or older

People under 65 with certain disabilities

People of any age with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant)

Part A (Hospital 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)

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 Insurance*

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.

*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 Cov.)

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.

Navigate your medicare choices

We can assist your decision making with our guide

Learn More

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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

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.

    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.

    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.

    e_721 06/19 Not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or the Federal Medicare Program. Rev. 06/19

    Call us now

    866-647-6705 (TTY 711)
    Medicare Advantage: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday
    All other inquiries: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday

    [email protected]