Medicare 101 | Wellmark
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What is Medicare?

Medicare is our country's health insurance program for people age 65 or older and some younger people with certain disabilities. Medicare helps cover the cost of health care and is made up of four parts, Parts A, B, C and D.

Medicare Matters: What will I get from Original Medicare?

Original Medicare

Parts A and B together are Original Medicare.

Part A covers hospital care,
including home health care and hospice care.  

Part B covers medical care,
which includes doctor visits, outpatient care and supplies. 

Parts C and D

You may decide you need more than Original Medicare coverage. That is where Part C and Part D come in.
These are not provided directly by the government, but can be purchased through private insurances providers. 

Instead of Part C, we offer MedicareBlue SupplementSM plans. These plans are in addition to Parts A and B and help pay for health care costs not covered by Original Medicare, including deductible, copayment, and coinsurance costs that can quickly add up.
Part D helps cover prescription drugs. Our plans are called MedicareBlueSM Rx (PDP). Part D helps pay for prescription drugs and can complement Original Medicare with one of our Medicare Supplement plans.

How to choose 

It all begins with you and your needs. Do you have specific health issues and need to see a doctor often? You may consider more coverage for regular visits and supplies. Do you have an active lifestyle and stay relatively healthy? You may just want basic coverage. Budget can also play a role in your selection.

We offer a range of plans to help find the right combination of benefits, premiums and cost-sharing options for your life. 

When are you eligible and when should you enroll?

 You can enroll in Medicare if:

  • You are 65 or older, a U.S. Citizen and have been a legal resident for five straight years.
  • You are younger than 65, permanently disabled and have received Social Security disability payments for at least two years — or you need a kidney transplant or dialysis for end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Enrollment periods vary:

If you are already getting benefits from Social Security, you'll be automatically enrolled for Part A and Part B starting on the first day of the month you turn 65. (If your birthday is on the first day of the month, enrollment will be the first day of the prior month.) If you are under 65 and disabled, you'll automatically get Part A and Part B after you get disability benefits from Social Security for 24 months.

If you are not automatically enrolled, you can enroll during a 7-month period that begins three months before the month of your 65th birthday, the month of your birthday, and the three months that follow.

MedicareBlue Supplement Plans: The six-month Open Enrollment Period begins on the first day of the month your Medicare Part B coverage begins. If you enroll during this period, you may not need to provide a health history. If you delay this coverage, you may need to provide your health history. 

Medicare Matters: When am I eligible?

Adding a MedicareBlue SupplementSM plan

For help with out-of-pocket costs and medical services not covered by Original Medicare — deductibles, copays and coinsurance, for example — consider one of our MedicareBlue Supplement plans. It works with Medicare Parts A and B and helps cover the cost share of services. View our plans.

Medicare Matters: Why do I need a Medicare supplement plan?


MedicareBlueSM Rx Prescription Drug Plans

Wellmark's Part D plan is called MedicareBlue Rx (PDP). It is designed to help manage costs for both brand-name and generic prescription drugs. Premiums, deductibles, copay and coinsurance amounts will vary by plan option. Explore our options External Site.

Medicare Matters: Where do I find drug coverage?

How to Get Help with Medicare Costs

If you have limited income and resources, your state may be able to help with Medicare premiums and other costs. Assistance programs and eligibility vary by state, so be sure to contact your local Social Security or Medicaid office to find out if you qualify. 

More information

Wellmark Medicare Supplement plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S government or the federal Medicare program.
MedicareBlue Rx is a prescription drug plan with a Medicare contract.  Enrollment in MedicareBlue Rx depends on contract renewals. 
Coverage is available to residents of the service area and separately issued by one of the following plans: Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa,* Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota,* Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana,* Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska,* Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota,* Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota,* Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming.*
This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. 
Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply.
Benefits may change on January 1 of each year.
*Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
Pending CMS Review