Medicare 101

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is here to walk you through Medicare basics and explain each part to help you get the benefits you deserve.

Learn the basics
A woman smiles while holding a smartphone with an open laptop next to her.

Some journeys need a guide. We're here to help.

You don't have to navigate Medicare by yourself. Whether you're enrolling for the first time or thinking about switching plans, we can help you understand your options and guide you through the details of eligibility, costs and more.

How Medicare works

If you’re new to Medicare, you probably have a lot of questions. To get you started, we’ve answered the most commonly asked questions about how it works. Here are a few that may come up during the annual enrollment period.

You only need to enroll in Original Medicare, also known as Parts A and B, once.

If you purchase additional coverage — Medicare Advantage, Part D prescription drug coverage or Medicare supplement — through a private insurer, you do not need to re-enroll in those plans each year. Your coverage will continue unless you disenroll or sign up for another plan.

Some parts of Medicare may change from year to year, such as the monthly premium and deductible amounts. However, your Part B can’t exceed the amount that your annual Social Security cost of living adjustment increases, unless you pay a higher premium for having a higher income.   

If you're enrolled in a Medicare Advantage or a prescription drug plan, your plan benefits and costs may change from year to year. Your insurer will send you a notification of these changes each fall, and you will have the option to enroll in a different Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan during the annual enrollment period from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 each year. Your Medicare supplement plan premiums may also go up once a year.

If you choose a Medicare plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which has the largest network of providers in the state, there's a good chance your doctor will be covered.

With a Medicare supplement plan, you can see any doctor who accepts Medicare. If your doctor doesn't accept Medicare, they can choose to accept you as a patient, but you’ll be responsible for payment.

With a Medicare Advantage plan, your doctor must participate in the plan's network. You can check whether your doctor is in our network with Find a Doctor.

Find answers to more of your Medicare questions so you can feel confident choosing a plan.

Ready to enroll?

Discover your Medicare options with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network.

Important information about Medicare supplement plans

This is a solicitation of insurance. We may contact you about buying insurance. Blue Cross Medicare Supplement plans aren't connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program.

Need help choosing a Medicare plan?

Our experienced advisors and agents can help find the right Blue Cross plan for you.