Welcome to Medicare

As the largest provider of Medicare specialty services in West Virginia, CAMC is invested in the health of our seniors. Under Medicare, you have access to a free preventative health visit within 12 months of turning 65 and one preventative visit every year after that. Visit camc.org/PrimaryCare to see a list of our providers who can help you with your free health visits and take care of your health all year!

About Medicare

Medicare is health insurance from the federal government for certain populations. You are eligible for Medicare if you are:

  • 65 and older
  • Younger than 65 but have a qualifying disability
  • Have a diagnosis of end-stage renal disease or ALS

*Medicare is only available to U.S. citizens who have lived in the country for at least five years in a row, including the five years just before applying for Medicare.

What does Medicare cover?

Medicare can be used as primary insurance or as supplemental, backup coverage. It can be used to help pay for medical care and long-term care, but it might not cover all your medical expenses. Medicare consists for four parts:

  • Part A (hospital): Covers care you receive while in the hospital, and skilled nursing care you receive in a facility, as well as home health and hospice care.
  • Part B (medical): Covers services and medical supplies, including (but not limited to):
    • Doctor visits
    • Tests an screenings
    • Surgeries
    • Medical supplies and equipment (e.g. wheelchairs, hospital beds)
    • Mental health services
  • Part C (Medicare Advantage): Also called Medicare Advantage, these are run by approved private insurance companies and include:
    • All benefits and services covered in Parts A and B
    • Vision, dental and hearing benefits
    • Prescription drug coverage (see Part D for more info)
    • Extra benefits and services for an added cost
  • Part D (prescription drugs): Helps cover the cost of prescriptions. Medicare has a list of approved drugs it will cover, which are placed in tiers, and it can help cut your costs for these prescription drugs and protect against cost hikes.

Selecting the right plan for you depends on several factors including your income, overall health, age and what kind of care you will need. Be sure to read through the services and plans carefully when making your selection.

How do I enroll in Medicare?

  • If you already get benefits from Social Security, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B when you become eligible. Your card will arrive in the mail.
  • If you’re over 65 (or turning 65 in the next three months) and not already receiving benefits from Social Security, you need to enroll in Medicare when you become eligible. Go to SSA.gov/Medicare to enroll online, or call your local Social Security Office.
Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)

When you become eligible at 65, your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is seven months long. It begins three months before your birth month, includes your birth month, and extends three months after you birth month.

When you turn 65, you will be automatically enrolled in Parts A and B, and can make other coverage choices during your IEP. If you become eligible due to a disability, your 7-month IEP includes the month you receive your 25th disability check plus the three months before and the three months after.

Sign up early! In most cases, coverage begins the first day of your birth month if you complete enrollment in the first three months of your IEP. Your coverage could be delayed and premiums could increase if you sign up later.

General Enrollment Period (GEP)

The General Enrollment Period (GEP) is the time during which those who missed their IEP can enroll in Medicare Part A, Part B or both. The GEP occurs annually from January 1 through March 31.

From April 1 to June 30 of the same year, you may enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) or a prescription drug plan (Part D) if you have already enrolled in Part A and/or Part B during a GEP.

Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment

Medicare supplement open enrollment runs for six months and begins the month you turn 65 or older and are enrolled in Part B. During this time, you cannot be denied coverage. You may apply for Medicare supplement insurance after open enrollment but could be denied or charged a higher premium.

Special Enrollment: Working Past 65

You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in Part A, Part B or both without penalty for up to eight months after the month your employment or employer coverage ends, whichever comes first, or if you are covered under your spouse’s employer coverage.

How do I find more information?

Visit medicare.gov, the official U.S. government website for Medicare, where you can download a copy of the official Medicare handbook: “Medicare & You.” This handbook summarizes Medicare benefits and coverage options, and answers many common questions about Medicare. If you don’t want to download a digital copy, you can order a copy to be delivered to you.