Learn About Medicare

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What are the different parts of Medicare?

Original Medicare

When you first enroll in Medicare, you have Original Medicare, which includes Part A and Part B, which is managed by the federal government.

Nurse


Most people must have Medicare Parts A and B to enroll in Medicare Advantage, Medicare Prescription Drug Plans and Medicare Supplement plans.
Part A

(Hospital Insurance)

Helps cover inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, home health care and hospice care.
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Part B

(Medical Insurance)

Helps cover doctor visits, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment and some preventive services.

Medicare Advantage

Also called MA plans or Part C, these plans are offered by private insurance companies that include all of the benefits and services that Original Medicare covers and extra benefits. Enrollees may pay a premium for their MA plan in addition to their Part B premiums.
Nurse


You can't be enrolled in both a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medicare Supplement plan.

Part C


Includes Parts A and B coverage, usually Part D coverage (prescription drugs) and extra benefits like vision, hearing, dental and wellness.

Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

Also called Part D, these plans cover prescription drug costs.

You can get your Part D prescription drug benefits as part of a Blue Advantage (HMO) plan.

If you don’t sign up for Part D coverage when you are first eligible, you may have to pay a late-enrollment penalty that is added to your monthly Part D premium even if the premium is zero.

Part D


Helps cover prescription drug costs and is offered through private insurance companies. Blue Advantage includes Part D prescription drug coverage.

Medicare Supplement

Also called Medigap, these plans are offered by private health insurance companies for a separate premium. They help pay some of the healthcare costs that Original Medicare doesn't cover, such as copayments, coinsurance and deductibles. Medigap plans offer additional coverage like medical care when you travel outside the United States. Typically for these plans, Medicare pays its share of the cost and the Medigap plan pays the rest. Medigap plans do not offer prescription drug coverage (Part D).
Nurse


You cannot be enrolled in both a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medicare Supplement plan.

Medigap


Helps pay some of the healthcare costs that Original Medicare doesn't cover and is offered through private insurance companies.

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When do I sign up for Medicare? 

Original Medicare (Parts A and B)

There is a seven-month timespan (Initial Enrollment Period) to apply for Medicare Part A and Part B.
3


Three months before you turn 65
1


The month you turn 65
3


Three months after the month you turn 65

Medicare Advantage (Part C)

You're first eligible to enroll in Medicare Advantage during your Initial Coverage Election Period (ICEP). For most people, this period occurs at the same time as their initial Enrollment Period for Original Medicare, Part A and Part B.
3


Three months before you turn 65
1


The month you turn 65
3


Three months after the month you turn 65

Annual Election Period (AEP)

Enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or prescription drug plan. Blue Advantage (HMO) includes prescription drug coverage.

Oct. 15 - Dec. 7

Special Enrollment Period

This is a period where you can make changes to your Medicare Advantage and prescription drug coverage depending on certain situations such as those listed below. You can find more specific information at www.medicare.gov.

  • You change where you live and are no longer in the plan’s service area or you are still in the service area but have new plan options.
  • You lose your current coverage.
  • You are able to get other coverage.
  • Your current plan’s contract with Medicare changes.

Jan. 1 - Dec. 31

Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D)

If you sign up for a Blue Advantage (HMO) plan when you are eligible, your Part D prescription drug benefits are included. If you don’t sign up for Part D coverage when you are first eligible, you may have to pay a late-enrollment penalty that is added to your monthly Part D premium even if the premium is zero.

Medicare Supplement (Medigap)

The best time to purchase Medigap is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This period lasts six months and begins the first day of the month in which you are 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B.
Nurse


For example, if you turn 65 on April 3 but don't join Medicare B until May 25, your Medigap Open Enrollment Period will start on June 1, which is the first day of the month in which you are both 65 and enrolled in Part B.


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Sign-up period lasts 6 months. Called Medigap Open Enrollment Period.
65+ and Part B


Sign up begins first day of the month in which you are 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B


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How do I sign up for Medicare?

Original Medicare (Parts A and B)

Call Social Security for more information about your Medicare eligibility and to sign up for Part A and Part B.

800-772-1213

TTY: 800-325-0778

7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday - Friday

www.ssa.gov

Medicare Advantage (Part C)

If eligible, you can enroll online or call to have a Medicare expert guide you through the enrollment process, meet you in person or send a kit to enroll by mail.

Available in 30 parishes in South Louisiana.

Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D)

Blue Advantage (HMO) includes Part D prescription drug coverage.

Medicare Supplement (Medigap)

Call one of our Medicare experts to guide you through the enrollment process.
Nurse

You cannot be enrolled in both a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medicare Supplement plan.

800-737-4043 (TTY 711) 

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Blue Advantage from HMO Louisiana, Inc. is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in HMO Louisiana depends on contract renewal.

HMO Louisiana, Inc. is a subsidiary of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is incorporated as Louisiana Health Service & Indemnity Company. Copyright © 2017 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is licensed to sell products only in the state of Louisiana.

External links open in new windows to websites Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana does not control.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and its subsidiaries, HMO Louisiana, Inc. and Southern National Life Insurance Company, Inc. comply with applicable federal civil rights laws and do not exclude people or treat them differently on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.

To enroll in a Blue Advantage plan, you must have both Medicare Parts A and B and reside in the parishes of Acadia, Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Vermilion, Washington, West Baton Rouge or West Feliciana parishes.

H6453_17-185_MKLA CMS Approved 11/9/2017 – Information current as of 10/2/2017