When you have health coverage through your employer, your HR 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 likely 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 many 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 has 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 buy 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. 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 goes up 10% for each 12-month period that you could have had Medicare but didn't sign up. The penalty increases as Medicare premiums increase.
If you want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or Prescription Drug plan through BCBSIL, there are four enrollment periods that happen at different times of the year.
Learn more about when you can enroll in Medicare
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 have 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
Answer a few questions to create your Medicare timeline. Your timeline will help you keep track of important dates on your Medicare journey.
Create your Medicare timeline
Help Me Choose a Plan
An interactive tool for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Members
If you are age 64 or older and have insurance through BCBSIL use the Help Me Choose tool to find the plan that's right for you. Get started.
The Help Me Choose tool makes plan recommendations using your:
- Available Medical claims
- Benefit usage history
- Prescription drug history
- Provider history
Enrolling in a Plan
We offer different ways to help you choose and enroll in the right health care coverage.