Illinois Medicare FAQs
Medicare is a federal health insurance program primarily for individuals aged 65 and older. Eligible individuals include those who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States and have paid into the Medicare system through employment.
Medicare is composed of different parts: Part A (hospital insurance), Part B (medical insurance), Part C (Medicare Advantage plans), and Part D (prescription drug coverage). Each part covers specific services and has its own costs.
Most people are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B when they turn 65 if they are already receiving Social Security benefits. If not, you can enroll online through the Social Security Administration’s website or visit a local Social Security office.
Yes, the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans is from October 15 to December 7 each year. This is the time to make changes to your plans or enroll in new ones.
Yes, the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) offers free counseling and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries in Illinois. They can help you understand your coverage options and answer your Medicare-related questions.
Yes, if you meet income and asset criteria, you may qualify for Extra Help (Low-Income Subsidy) to help with Part D prescription drug costs. Additionally, there are programs that can assist with Medicare premiums and cost-sharing.
Yes, during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (January 1 – March 31), you can switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare or vice versa. You can also make changes during the AEP.
Yes, Medigap (Medicare Supplement) plans are available in Illinois. These plans can help cover out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and coinsurance that Original Medicare doesn’t fully cover.
With Original Medicare, you have the flexibility to see any doctor or specialist who accepts Medicare. However, Medicare Advantage plans may have networks that restrict your choices to in-network providers.