What are my Medicare options?

Original Medicare offers basic hospital and medical insurance coverage. But you may find that it does not cover all the services and supplies you need. For instance, it doesn’t cover prescription costs, physical exams, hearing aids, or routine eye care. The good news is you have options to add to your coverage.   

Medicare Supplement plans

A Medicare Supplement plan (also known as Medigap) can help pay for some of the costs not covered by Original Medicare. Example of costs are copayments, coinsurance and deductibles.

We offer six types of Medicare Supplement plans. Each plan lets you choose any doctor, hospital, and healthcare provider that accepts Medicare.

Certain situations qualify you for guaranteed acceptance in a Blue Shield Medicare Supplement plan. Please read our Guaranteed Acceptance guide to determine if you qualify.

Guaranteed Acceptance guide (English, PDF, 225 KB)
Guaranteed Acceptance guide (Spanish, PDF, 222 KB)
Guaranteed Acceptance guide (Chinese, PDF, 315 KB)
Guaranteed Acceptance guide (Vietnamese, PDF, 326 KB) 

Medicare Prescription Drug plans (Part D)

Medicare Supplement plans do not cover prescription drugs. However, you do have options available. You can add coverage for prescription drugs by enrolling in a Medicare Prescription Drug plan. Be sure to check that the plan you choose covers your prescriptions.

Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans

A Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan is a Part C plan that replaces Original Medicare and includes prescription drug coverage. The plan offers:

  • Original Medicare benefits (hospital and medical insurance)
  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Additional benefits not covered by Medicare such as an allowance for eyeglasses, frames and contacts

Many Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans have no monthly plan premiums and no Part D deductibles. Most require a copayment only when you receive a covered service or drug. However, some plans have annual limits.

Other less common types of Medicare Advantage Plans include:

  • Medicare Advantage HMOs without Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage
  • Medicare Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)
  • Medicare private fee-for-service plans
  • Medicare special needs plans

You can find more information on these types of plans at medicare.gov.

What plans does Blue Shield of California offer?

Blue Shield of California makes choosing the right health coverage easy. We offer Medicare Supplement plans and stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plans statewide.  We also offer Medicare Advantage Prescription drug plans in various counties. You have many options available to fit your needs and budget.

Get more information

Connect with us

Get answers to your Medicare questions. Call a Blue Shield Medicare adviser at (800) 260-9607 (TTY: 711) or book an appointment online.

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Join a Medicare event

Attend a free live or online seminar to learn more about Medicare and get your questions answered. 

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Get a free copy of Your Guided Path to Medicare to understand your coverage options. 

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Page last updated: 07/02/2024

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