When you’re informed, you can make smart decisions about your healthcare. Before you enroll in a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan, there are a few things you should know.

Know If and When You Need to Sign Up for Medicare

  • If you want a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Supplement Plan, you must be enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and B).
  • Know if you will get Medicare automatically or if you will need to sign up. Some people will get Original Medicare (Parts A and B) automatically, while others need to enroll themselves. If you are not sure, contact the Social Security Administration at 1.800.772.1213 or visit a local Social Security office.
  • If you miss your Initial Enrollment Period deadline, you could be charged penalties for as long as you are in Medicare, unless you meet certain qualifying conditions.
  • Do not assume you can delay signing up with Medicare because you have other health insurance. Only group health plans sponsored by an employer with 20 or more employees lets you delay your Medicare enrollment. Other health coverage or COBRA coverage is not acceptable.

Be Aware of Medicare Costs

  • Monthly premiums may include costs for Part B in addition to costs associated with the plan(s) you select for additional coverage. Premiums for Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement and stand-alone Part D plans will vary by level of coverage and insurance provider. There are often $0 premium plans available with Medicare Advantage.
  • Just like private health insurance, Original Medicare (Parts A and B) has deductibles, copays and coinsurance.
  • Many preventive services are now covered without a deductible and other cost-sharing requirements because of the Affordable Care Act.

Consider Your Coverage Needs and Situation

  • When you sign up for Medicare, your spouse or other dependents are not also covered. Medicare doesn't include family coverage and each person must individually meet the eligibility requirements.
  • If your older spouse retires and his or her employer coverage ends as they go into Medicare, your coverage will end as well. You will need to find new coverage for yourself (either through your own employment, COBRA coverage or purchasing your own individual plan).
  • If you and your spouse are both enrolled in Medicare, you are each separately responsible to  pay any premiums, deductibles and/or copays the coverage requires.
  • Original Medicare and Medicare Supplement plans do not include prescription drug coverage. If you need Part D prescription drug coverage, it is included in most Medicare Advantage plans, or you can purchase a separate stand-alone Part D plan.
  • If you want or need extra benefits in your plan, like health and wellness programs, dental and vision coverage, consider a Medicare Advantage plan. These benefits are often included in Medicare Advantage plans but not in Original Medicare, Medicare Supplement or stand-alone Part D plans. If you are interested in the SilverSneakers® program, Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plans may be right for you. Medical Mutual provides SilverSneakers, an extra service in addition to your benefits, with both types of plans at no additional cost to you.

Learn More about Medicare

For more information visit the following pages or download our Medicare guide:



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Page last updated on 2/17/2017
H4497_H6723_WS1115_2016_Nov15 CMS Approved
C1757-MCS R1/16