New to Medicare?

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program that was created to ensure all retired Americans have access to healthcare. Medicare is available for people age 65 and older, and for others who meet certain eligibility requirements. The original program, often referred to as Original Medicare, started with Part A and Part B and offers basic coverage, while requiring you, the beneficiary, to pay for additional costs.

Medicare options

It’s important to remember that Original Medicare does not cover all of your medical expenses. And because the needs of Medicare beneficiaries have changed since Medicare was introduced in 1965, private insurers like Blue Shield of California began offering other Medicare options to help offset costs.

Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C), Medicare Supplement (or Medigap) Plans and Prescription Drug Plans (Part D) help you cover a greater portion of your healthcare expenses. Once you understand what each part of Medicare and plan does, you’ll be able to see how they can work for you.

Whether you’re interested in Original Medicare only, or the plans offered by private insurers like Blue Shield, it’s critical that you enroll in Medicare to get your Medicare card and receive benefits.

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