Summary: Medicare in Illinois includes Original Medicare, the federal Medicare program. Your other options may include Medicare Advantage plans. You might be able to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. You may also be able to buy a Medicare Supplement insurance plan.
Original Medicare in Illinois
Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, refers to the program from the federal government. It works the same in Illinois as it does in every other state.
- Part A covers inpatient hospital care
- Part B covers outpatient and doctor’s services
Who may be automatically enrolled in Medicare in Illinois if they receive federal benefits?
- S. citizens and legal permanent residents of at least five continuous years age 65 or older
- People under age 65 who have qualifying disabilities
When am I eligible for Original Medicare in Illinois?
Usually you’re eligible for Medicare in Illinois when you turn 65. If you’re under 65 years old, you might qualify for Medicare by disability.
Original Medicare in Illinois: how do I sign up?
When you become eligible for Medicare, you may be automatically enrolled. This may happen if you get retirement benefits through either:
- The Social Security Administration (SSA) or
- The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB)
You can enroll in Medicare manually. There are several ways to do this. You can apply by visiting your local SSA office or registering online. You can also enroll over the phone:
- Call SSA at 1-800-772-1213. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778. Phone hours are Monday through Friday, from 7AM to 7PM.
- If you worked for a railroad, call the RRB at 1-877-772-5772. TTY users can call 1-312-751-4701. Phone hours are Monday through Friday, from 9AM to 3:30PM.
Medicare in Illinois Plan Options
Medicare Part C, also called Medicare Advantage, is another way to get your Medicare benefits. Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan means you remain enrolled in Part A and Part B. These plans are offered by private, Medicare-approved insurance companies.
You must continue paying your Part B premium. You also need to pay any plan premium. Some 2020 Illinois Medicare Advantage plans have a $0 monthly premium.
Most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage. Many Medicare Advantage plans include extra benefits. These may include dental, vision, and hearing benefits.
Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage. Original Medicare covers medication only in limited situations. Due to the limits of Original Medicare, you might consider enrolling in Medicare Part D.
For people who want Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, two options are available:
- Enroll in a Medicare Advantage prescription drug plan. This combines health and prescription drug coverage in one plan; or
- Enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. This works alongside Original Medicare.
All Medicare Part D prescription drug plans are offered by Medicare-approved private insurance companies.
Medicare Supplement insurance plans (Medigap) are offered by private insurance companies and can help you pay for out-of-pocket costs for services covered under Medicare Part A and Part B.
Medicare in Illinois Resources
There are resources to assist you in learning more about Medicare. Here are a few helpful contacts.
- Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) from the Illinois Department on Aging: Phone number 1-800-252-8966. Website.
- National Institute on Aging Information Center: Toll-free number 1-800-222-2225. TTY users please call 1-800-222-4225. Hours: 8:30AM – 5PM Monday-Friday. Website.
Learn more about how Medicare plans in Illinois works:
- Medicare Advantage plans in Illinois
- Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance plans in Illinois
- Medicare Part D plans in Illinois
Medicare Supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program.
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