Medicare Basics | Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas

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Medicare Basics

Most Americans join Medicare when they turn 65, but it’s also available to younger people with certain disabilities and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure that requires dialysis or a transplant).

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a national health insurance program administered by the federal government. It is not part of the Health Insurance Marketplace. Medicare is made up of four parts. Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance) are considered Original Medicare. Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans) and Medicare Part D (prescription drug) are plans offered by insurance companies and private companies that contract with Medicare. You can elect to purchase more Medicare coverage offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation.

Original Medicare

Offered by the Federal Government

Hospital Insurance

Part A helps pays for:

  • Inpatient hospital care
  • Skilled nursing facility care after a hospital stay
  • Some home healthcare and hospice services

Medical Insurance

Part B helps pay for:

  • Doctor office visits and services
  • Most outpatient care
  • Home health care
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Many preventive services

More Medicare Coverage

Additional Medicare Coverage Offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas

You can choose to enroll in:

Medicare Advantage

Combines what’s covered by Part A and Part B and adds benefits, often including prescription drug coverage (Part D)


Part C always covers you for all benefits included in Parts A and B.

May include coverage for:
  • Dental, hearing and/or vision services
  • Health, wellness, and fitness programs
Many Part C plans include:
  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Provider networks to help manage costs

If you enroll in a Blue Cross Medicare AdvantageSM plan, you cannot also enroll in a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan*.

Or, you can choose to enroll in:

Prescription Drug

Helps cover costs of prescription drugs with copays or coinsurance

Or, you can choose to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan on its own or paired with a Part D plan:

Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans

Helps with costs that Medicare Parts A and B do not cover

Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans help to pay for:
  • Coinsurance
  • Copayments
  • Deductibles

Help Me Choose a Plan

Not sure what you need? Answer a few questions to help you decide. Get started

Now that you’ve picked a plan, it’s time to enroll.

Useful Tools

Plan A: UWMSP(A)-2010, Plan F: UWMSP(F)-2010, Plan High Deductible F: UWMSP(F-HD)-2010, Plan G: UWMSP(G)-2010, Plan K: UWMSP(K)-2010, Plan L: UWMSP(L)-2010, Plan N: UWMSP(N)-2010, Medicare Select Plan F: UWMSP-SEL(F)-2010, Medicare Select Plan G: UWMSP-SEL(G)-2010, Medicare Select Plan K: UWMSP-SEL(K)-2010, Medicare Select Plan L: UWMSP-SEL(L)-2010, Medicare Select Plan N: UWMSP-SEL(N)-2010.

Benefits and premiums under this policy may be suspended for up to 24 months if you become entitled to benefits under Medicaid. You must request that your policy be suspended within 90 days of becoming entitled to Medicaid. If you lose (are no longer entitled to) benefits from Medicaid, this policy can be reinstated if you request reinstatement within 90 days of the loss of such benefits and pay the required premium.

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TXMSMICROSITEBASICS