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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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Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc., is an HMO with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. depends on contract renewal. Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. is a D-SNP plan with a Medicare contract and a contract with the Georgia Medicaid program. Enrollment in Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. depends on contract renewal. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. is an LPPO plan and a PDP plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. depends on contract renewal. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc., and Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc., are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Anthem Insurance Companies Inc. (AICI) has contracted with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to offer Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) noted above or herein AICI is the state-licensed, risk-bearing entity offering these plans. AICI has retained the services of its related companies and authorized agents/brokers/producers to provide administrative services and/or to make the PDPs available in this region. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and AICI are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc., is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. 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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