What is Medicare?

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

The federal Medicare program is made up of four parts.
- Part A is hospital insurance and it's free for most people.
- Part B is medical insurance that has a premium (monthly cost).
- Part C, known as Medicare Advantage, includes Part A and Part B as well as Part D drug coverage.
- Part D is an optional prescription drug plan.


Part A

Hospital insurance
  • Medicare Part A helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facitlity (following a hospital stay), some home health care, and hospice care.
  • Part A has a deductible and may be premium-free if you or your spouse have paid taxes.

Part B

Medical insurance 
  • Medicare Part B helps cover doctor visits, lab tests, and outpatient services. It covers preventative care like health screenings and annual checkups and some medical supplies like wheelchairs and walkers.
  • Part B is optional. You must elect Part B and pay a monthly premium, a deductible, and 20% of your costs.

Part C

Medicare Advantage 
  • These are plans offered through private insurance companies. You must live in the plan's service area to enroll. The plans provide Part A (hospital) and Part B (medical) benefits, and most include Part D (prescription drug coverage).
  • The plans may offer other benefits like dental, vision, hearing, and fitness, and they put a yearly limit on your total out-of-pocket costs.
  • You pay two monthly premiums - one for the plan and one for your Medicare Part B coverage.
  • Most Medicare Advantage plans require you to use doctors, specialists, medical facilities, and hospitals in the plan's network.

Part D

Prescription drug plan
  • Part D is prescription drug coverage offered through private insurance companies.
  • You're not automatically enrolled in Part D just because you have Parts A and B.
  • Some Part C Medicare Advantage plans already include Part D prescription drug coverage.
  • You cannot be enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan if you are enrolled in a separate Prescription Durg Plan (PDP).
  • You can delay Part D enrollment if you're working past age 65 and have health insurance through an employer that includes prescription drug coverage.
Prescription drug plan
  • Part D is prescription drug coverage offered through private insurance companies.
  • You're not automatically enrolled in Part D just because you have Parts A and B.
  • Some Part C Medicare Advantage plans already include Part D prescription drug coverage.
  • You cannot be enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan if you are enrolled in a separate Prescription Durg Plan (PDP).
  •  You can delay Part D enrollment if you're working past age 65 and have health insurance through an employer that includes prescription drug coverage. 

Why do many people choose to buy additional coverage?

Unless you qualify for a program to help pay your Medicare costs, you'll have to pay all these costs yourself. As mentioned earlier, there’s a monthly premium for Part B, which is typically deducted from your Social Security check each month. Both Medicare Part A and Part B have deductibles and coinsurance that you must pay. Each year, these costs are reviewed—and often adjusted—by the federal government.


It’s important to remember that Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does NOT cover most prescription drugs, and you may need additional prescription drug coverage.

This application is not a guarantee that you will receive coverage. Upon approval of your application, you will receive an approval letter and a contract. You can become a Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska (Premera) Medicare supplement member if you:
Reside in Alaska,
Currently have both Medicare Part A and Part B, and
Don't receive Medicaid assistance other than payment of your Medicare Part B premium.

You do not need more than one Medicare supplement plan. If you currently have a Medicare supplement plan or Medicare Advantage plan (including a Medicare HMO or PPO), you cannot be enrolled unless you intend to replace your current coverage. Please complete a replacement form. If you purchase this contract, you may want to evaluate your existing health coverage and decide if you need multiple coverages.

You may be eligible for benefits under Medicaid and may not need a Medicare supplement plan. Medicaid is a public aid program for people with low income. It is not the same as Medicare.

If, after purchasing this plan, you become entitled to Medicaid, the benefits and subscription charges under your Medicare Supplement contract can be suspended, if requested, during your entitlement to benefits under Medicaid for 24 months. You must request this suspension within 90 days of being eligible for Medicaid. If you are no longer entitled to Medicaid, your suspended Medicare supplement plan (or, if that is no longer available, a substantially equivalent plan) will be re-instituted if requested within 90 days of losing Medicaid eligibility.

Counseling services may be available in your state to provide advice concerning your purchase of Medicare supplement coverage and concerning medical assistance through the state Medicaid program, including benefits as a "Qualified Medicare Beneficiary" (QMB) or a "Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary" (SLMB).

Except that you must provide information on diseases and disorders for which you have symptoms, please do not provide any information on any part of this application about genetic testing or genetic information, including any decision by an insurance company that is based on a genetic test or genetic information.

Plan A 021202 (06-2010); 021198 (06-2010); Plan N 021203 (06-01-2010); 021199 (06-01-2010); Plan F 021204 (06-2010); 021200 (06-2010); High Deductible Plan F 021205 (06-2010); 021201 (06-2010); Plan G 042196 (01-2018); 042195 (01-2018); High Deductible Plan G 049580 (01-2020); 049581 (01-2020).