Medicare 101: How to Enroll and What to Know About Blue KC’s Coverage Options

November 17, 2020

Selecting Medicare coverage is an important healthcare decision. In this post, we’ll explain how you can enroll in Medicare and what options Blue KC offers.

Enrolling in Medicare

You become eligible for Original Medicare, which includes Parts A and B, typically at the age of 65. Everyone is granted a seven-month Initial Coverage Enrollment Period when signing up for Original Medicare. This enrollment period, also known as ICEP, begins three months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends three months after you turn 65.

If you do not sign up during your ICEP, you’ll need to sign up during the Annual Enrollment Period (October 15 to December 7, 2020) the following year or during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) – which is most common for people who work past 65. The graphic below explains ICEP, SEP and other helpful enrollment terms.

You can only sign up for Part B (or Part A if you have to buy it) during set enrollment periods. Check with the plan before you enroll to see what benefits it offers, if you might qualify, and if there are any limitations.

Choosing Medicare coverage is an important decision. And that’s why it’s important to have a health partner like Blue KC. Our private Medicare insurance plans offer greater benefits and coverage – including prescription drug coverage – at affordable rates.

Blue KC Medicare Options

With so many Medicare options, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. We’re here to help you choose a Blue KC Medicare plan that fits your life, needs and budget.

Blue KC’s Medicare Plans include:

  • Blue Medicare Advantage – Blue Medicare Advantage plans conveniently combine hospital and medical, and most plans include prescription drug coverage (Part D), all in one plan. These plans do more than help pay for medical costs.  You get valuable extra benefits to help you feel better, live better, and save money – every day.
    • Blue Medicare Advantage assists patients by helping cover costs of hospitals, skilled nursing facilities or hospice care for members. Blue Medicare Advantage offers valuable extras such as an in- and out-of-network* dental allowance, vision eyewear allowance, hearing aid coverage, SilverSneakers®, therapeutic massage** and acupuncture, over-the-counter items allowance and emergency and nonemergency transportation.
    • Blue Medicare Advantage plans also help account for coverage Medicare cannot provide, including prescription drug coverage, emergency and non-emergency transportation, and hearing aid coverage.  
    • Blue Medicare Advantage is available in Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and Buchanan, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Jackson, Lafayette, Platte and Ray counties in Missouri.
  • Blue Medicare Supplement – Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans pay for some of the things your Original Medicare doesn’t cover – like copayments, coinsurance, deductibles and health care costs incurred when traveling internationally. Medigap policies help fill the ‘gaps’ between Medicare Parts A and B.
    • Blue KC offers Medicare Supplement insurance plans designed for individuals age 65 years and older and for disabled Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in Original Medicare.
    • Benefits for Blue KC’s Medicare Supplement plans may vary depending on whether you live in Kansas or Missouri.
    • Our Medicare Supplement plans are available to all residents in our 32-county service area.

If you have questions about our plans or how to enroll, call us at 888-800-4481 or visit to learn more.

*Out-of-network coverage on PPO plans
**Massage available on Essential (PPO) plan only

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The HMO products are offered by Blue-Advantage Plus of Kansas City, Inc., and the PPO products are offered by Missouri Valley Life and Health Insurance Company, both wholly owned subsidiaries of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City’s Blue Medicare Advantage includes both HMO and PPO plans with Medicare contracts. Enrollment in Blue Medicare Advantage depends on contract renewal.

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