Making Your Move to Medicare From Health InsuranceAugust 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.
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.
- 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.
A CONSUMER’S GUIDE TO HEALTH INSURANCE FOR PEOPLE ELIGIBLE FOR MEDICARE MAY BE OBTAINED FROM YOUR LOCAL SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE OR FROM THIS INSURER
Empire BlueCross BlueShield is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Empire BlueCross BlueShield depends on contract renewal. Services provided by Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc. licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.
Services provided by Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc., licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are 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.
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