Stay with Blue
When you have health coverage through your employer, your Human Resources department or benefits administrator selects your plan options. Each year, from those options you choose a plan that best meets your needs.
If you are 65 or will be soon, you are probably wondering about options for Medicare. As a current Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) member, you can take ease in knowing we also offer several Medicare plans. By choosing one of our plans, you can stay with the company you know and trust.
Learn more about how Medicare is different
How Medicare Works
Medicare is a national health insurance program offered by the federal government. It is not part of the health insurance marketplace. It consists of Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance), also known as Original Medicare.
If your employer does not offer a Retiree Group Medicare option, you can purchase additional coverage through a private health insurance company such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.
Learn more about how Medicare works
When to Enroll
It’s important to know when you can enroll in Medicare. If you are 65 years old and get Social Security benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A. If you are turning 65 soon but do not get Social Security benefits, you must contact the Social Security Administration to sign up for Medicare Part A.
The rules are different when you enroll in Medicare Part B. You can enroll in Part B during the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) or during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). If you decline Part B during your IEP and enroll during the General Enrollment Period, you may pay a penalty. The monthly premium for Part B increases by 10% for each 12-month period that you could have had Part B but didn’t sign up. The penalty increases the longer you go without Part B coverage.
If you want to enroll in a BCBSIL Medicare Advantage plan or prescription drug plan, there are four enrollment periods that take place at different times of the year.
Learn more about when you can enroll in Medicare
Answer a few questions to create your personalized Medicare Timeline. Your timeline will help you keep track of important dates on your Medicare journey.
Create your Medicare Timeline
BCBSIL contracts with Medicare to offer plans that give you more coverage than Original Medicare. These plans may include some of the benefits you currently have through your employer’s health coverage. And they often include benefits not offered by Medicare Part A and Part B.
Our plan options can help make your transition to a Medicare plan seamless.
Learn more about our Blue Cross Medicare OptionsSM
Enrolling in a Plan
We offer different ways to help you choose and enroll in the right health care coverage.