Summary: If you have Medicare in Georgia, you may have options in how you receive your Medicare benefits. The federal health program, Original Medicare, includes Part A, hospital insurance, and Part B, medical insurance. You may also be able to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan.

About Original Medicare in Georgia

Original Medicare has two parts:

  • Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital stays and hospice care.
  • Medicare Part B covers doctor visits and preventive services.

Original Medicare is available in every state, including Georgia.

Original Medicare in Georgia: enrollment and eligibility

Many people are enrolled in Medicare Part A automatically at age 65. This may happen if you receive retirement benefits through either the Social Security Administration (SSA) or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) when you turn 65.

You might be eligible for in Medicare in Georgia if you’re under age 65. You might be automatically enrolled if you receive SSA or RRB disability benefits for 24 months in a row.

  • You’ll get your red, white, and blue Medicare card by mail about three months before your coverage starts. Your Medicare card has your Medicare number printed on it. The card also tells you if you have Part A and/or Part B.
  • You’ll also get a “Welcome to Medicare” packet. This will contain educational information, including instructions on how you can opt out of Part B.

Since Part B has a monthly premium, you have the option to decline this coverage. However, you need Part B to enroll in Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D.

You may have a late enrollment penalty if you delay enrolling in Medicare Part B. Learn how to avoid late enrollment penalties.

Original Medicare in Georgia: when to enroll

If you’re not automatically enrolled in Original Medicare in Georgia, you can enroll during the following enrollment periods:

  • Initial Enrollment Period (IEP): This is the period when you’re first eligible to enroll in Medicare. It lasts for seven months. It begins three months before you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends three months later.
  • General Enrollment Period (GEP): This is the period that runs from January 1 to March 31. If you missed your IEP, you may enroll during the General Enrollment Period. You may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for Part A and/or Part B if you didn’t sign up when you were first eligible.
  • Special Enrollment Period (SEP): Only under certain circumstances may you sign up for Part A or Part B outside the IEP and GEP periods. Some situations will qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period. For example, let’s say you have a group health plan and delay Part B enrollment. You can sign up for Part B using a SEP when your group coverage ends. This lets you avoid a Part B late enrollment penalty.

You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period in other situations. These include:

  • Relocating outside Georgia
  • Becoming eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid
  • Qualifying for the Extra Help program
  • Moving into or out of a skilled nursing facility

You can sign up for Medicare in Georgia in a few ways. These include going to your local SSA office, registering online, or calling:

  • Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. TTY users call 1-800-325-0778. Monday through Friday, from 7AM to 7PM.
  • If you worked for a railroad, call the RRB at 1-877-772-5772. TTY users call 1-312-751-4701. Monday through Friday, from 9AM to 3:30PM.

Other choices for Medicare in Georgia

You may want to see what other options for Medicare in Georgia are available. This may help you decide on the plan that best suits your personal needs.

Be aware that costs and details for Medicare in Georgia may vary among plans.

Medicare Part C: Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies that have contracted with Medicare to provide your Medicare benefits.

  • Medicare Advantage plans cover Part A and Part B benefits. They may offer routine vision, dental, hearing, or fitness coverage as added benefits.
  • Many Medicare Advantage plans cover prescription drugs. These are called Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans. They let you receive all of your Medicare coverage through one plan.

In 2020, some Georgia Medicare Advantage plans have premiums as low as $0. You still need to pay your Part B premium, as well as any plan premium.

Medicare Supplement insurance plans, also called Medigap, are available in Georgia. If you decide to stay with Original Medicare, another option you may have is to sign up for a Medicare Supplement insurance plan to help pay for Original Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs.

  • Different Medigap insurance plans pay for different amounts of those costs. These include copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
  • Medicare Supplement insurance plans offer a number of standardized benefits, identified by letter.
  • Standardized benefits means that plans of the same letter offer the same benefits no matter which insurance carrier offers the plan.

For example, a Medicare Supplement Plan B you buy in Georgia has the same basic benefits as your friend’s Plan B in Florida. You might pay a different premium than your friend pays.

Please note that Medicare Supplement Plan B is not the same as Medicare Part B.

Note: Medicare Supplement insurance plans cannot be combined with Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage may be available to you through either:

  • A Medicare Advantage prescription drug plan
  • A stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan

A stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan works alongside your Part A and Part B coverage.

Medicare in Georgia Resources

The following health organizations can help you learn more about Medicare in Georgia and provide you with educational resources.

  • State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP): Toll-free number 1-866-552-4464 | TTY users call 1-404-657-1929. Phone hours are 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, ET, Monday through Friday. | Website
  • National Institute on Aging Information Center: Toll-free number 1-800-222-2225 | TTY users call 1-800-222-4225 | Monday through Friday, 8:30AM to 5PM ET | Website

Learn more about how Medicare in Georgia works:

Medicare Supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program.

The product and service descriptions, if any, provided on these PlanPrescriber web pages are not intended to constitute offers to sell or solicitations in connection with any product or service. All products are not available in all areas and are subject to applicable laws, rules, and regulations.