What is Medicare? | All About Medicare Coverage, Eligibility & More Skip To Main Content
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All About Medicare

What is Medicare? Medicare was designed to help you afford good health care.

It comes in Parts A, B, C, and D. Parts A and B are called “Original Medicare.” It comes from the government and covers some basics, like hospital stays and doctor visits, but it doesn’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, dental, or hearing.

Almost eligible for Medicare?  Learn more about Turning 65

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It all starts with Original Medicare

You’ll want to get Parts A and B. Once you have it, most people add to Original Medicare to help save money and get more coverage.

Hospital Insurance

Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A is a basic building block of Medicare. It covers services like hospital stays and hospice care. You may pay a premium for Part A though most people don’t. As long as you sign up when you’re first eligible for Medicare and you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working.

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Medical Insurance

Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B pays 80% of approved charges for services like doctor visits and outpatient care. It’s optional, but most people get it. You’ll probably pay around $100 a month for your premium, but Anthem offers lots of plans to help with Part B costs like copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. Be sure to enroll on time to avoid penalties.

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When should you enroll in Original Medicare?

Since you’ll need Parts A and B to start, let’s find the best time for you to enroll. Once you understand your Medicare eligibility, you can enroll in Original Medicare. Then we’ll help you complete the rest of your coverage.

Please enter your birthday Please enter a valid birthday

Looking to change your Medicare plan?

Medicare Advantage or Part D plans can be changed or added during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which is from October 15 to December 7. Some people qualify for Special Enrollment Periods (SEP). And if you’re looking for a Medicare Supplement plan, you can apply anytime during the year.

You’ve got options!

If you plan to keep working at 65, and you’re self-employed or you work for a small business, you’ll want to get Medicare when you turn 65. Check back here 3 months before your birthday, sign up for Original Medicare, and complete your coverage with our Anthem Medicare plans.

If you’re working at a big company, and stay on your employer’s plan, it’s still a good idea to research your Medicare options 3 months before you turn 65. Using parts of Medicare may save you money even before you retire.

Your timing is perfect!

You can decide to use all or part of your Medicare benefits, even if you still work. Just enroll before your birthday to avoid penalties or gaps in coverage.

OK! Just enroll when you retire.

You’re probably still enrolled in the healthcare plan you have with your employer. That’s great, but you can still check out whether using parts of Medicare could save you money even while you work. Explore our Medicare plans and watch for yearly enrollment periods.

Good job checking in!

You’ve got some time so it’s a great idea to start exploring your Medicare options. Check out Anthem’s plans now and be sure to enroll in Original Medicare 3 months before your 65th birthday.

Perfect timing!

It’s within 3 months of birthday month. Now is the perfect time to look into Medicare and the plans we offer. Sign up for Original Medicare now so your coverage starts before your birthday and you avoid paying penalties on Parts A, B, or D. Then add the Medicare plans you want from Anthem to complete your coverage.

Happy birthday!

Now is the time to sign up for Original Medicare. Since you just turned 65, you can still get it without paying any government penalties if you enroll now. However, your coverage may take a few months to kick in. Once you’re enrolled, come back to Anthem to complete your coverage with our plans.

Enroll as soon as possible.

Since you’re over 65, you qualify for Medicare and you should sign up now. You can get great plans but it might take a few months to kick in. And since you’re a little late signing up, you may have to pay some penalties on your premiums for Medicare programs.

We complete your Medicare coverage

Parts A and B were just the beginning. To enhance Original Medicare, most people add plans to help cover costs and expand their coverage.

Medicare Supplement Insurance


Medicare Supplement insurance plans help pay for things Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like your coinsurance, copays, or deductibles. You may have the option to buy dental and vision insurance, too. Most people who get Medicare Supplement usually buy a separate prescription drug plan (Part D) to complete their care.

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Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Plans

Medicare Part D

Part D is Medicare’s prescription drug program, which most Medicare customers choose to add. You get your plan through private insurers like us. We’ll get you affordable coverage for prescriptions you have now or may need in the future.

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Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Part C

Part C, called Medicare Advantage, is a way to bundle coverage into a low-cost plan. Anthem’s plans cover everything from Medicare Parts A, B, and (often) D in one affordable monthly premium. You can pick an HMO or PPO plan. And you can add benefits like dental, vision, and hearing.

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Not sure which path is right for you?

Medicare Advantage Part C plan? Or Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan? Take the quiz by selecting the phrase that best applies to you.

1/5: Doctors


I’m ok seeing doctors within a network to get the most savings

I’d like the freedom to see any Medicare-approved doctor or specialist

Monthly premiums

I’d like to keep my monthly premiums as low as possible

I don’t mind paying a bit more to get the greatest choice of Medicare-approved doctors

Copays and coinsurance

I don’t mind some copays and coinsurance if I can pay a lower monthly premium

I’ll pay a higher monthly premium in order to avoid copays and coinsurance costs

Prescription drugs

I’d like drug coverage included in my plan

I’ll add prescription drug coverage separately if I need it

Travel plans

I’d like coverage for emergencies during international travel to be included in my plan

I’ll add coverage for international travel emergencies if I need it

Medicare Advantage (Part C) Plan An Anthem Medicare Advantage plan saves you money and expands your coverage. It often includes prescription drug benefits bundled into your plan. You can add dental and vision, too.
Medicare Supplement plan An Anthem Medicare Supplement plan will give you the freedom to choose any Medicare doctor or specialist you want. You can cover your prescription drug costs by separately adding a Part D plan.

Based on what you’ve told us, it sounds like your best match is a:

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Start Over

Ready? Let's go.

1. Get Original Medicare

Head to ssa.gov just before you turn 65 or when you first become eligible for Medicare. Get signed up for Parts A and B.

2. Complete your coverage

Visit us. Get all the additional coverage you’ll need right here. You can get prescription drug coverage, hearing, vision, dental - all the things Original Medicare doesn’t cover.

3. Renew or change each year

Look for yearly enrollment periods so you can change or renew your coverage. Some plans can be added any time. Original Medicare renews automatically each year.

Y0114_16_29122_U CMS ACCEPTED 9/29/2016

Not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or the federal Medicare program. The purpose of this communication is the solicitation of insurance. Contact will be made by an insurance agent or insurance company.

Once enrolled into your Medicare Supplement insurance plan, your coverage is guaranteed for the life of the plan with only two exceptions/restrictions: nonpayment of premiums and material misrepresentation.

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. 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)。