Most people will automatically be enrolled in Medicare starting the first day of the month of their 65th birthday or on their 25th month of disability. To be eligible for Medicare you must either be over 65, under 65 with a disability, already receiving benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board, or have ALS or End State Renal Disease.
There are two ways to get Medicare; Original Medicare (Part A & B) or a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C). Medicare part A (hospital insurance) covers hospital admissions, sub-acute rehabilitation at a skilled nursing facility, and hospice. Medicare part B (medical insurance) cover doctors, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, and home health. Medicare part C (Medicare Advantage) are Medicare approved private health insurance plans. Medicare part D (Drug Coverage) is offered at the time of enrollment and provides coverage for prescription drugs for those with original Medicare.
For those with Medicare Advantage, prescription drug coverage is provided through their plan. If you do not join a part D plan at enrollment, have a Medicare Advantage plan, or have prescription coverage through another provider you will likely be charged a late enrollment penalty. To enroll in Medicare or for more information refer to https://www.medicare.gov/.
AHCCCS stands for Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System and replaces Medicaid in the state of Arizona. AHCCCS covers services including doctors, inpatient and outpatient care, immunizations, diagnostic testing, transportation to medical appointments, dental and vision care, and dialysis. AHCCCS contracts with several health plans including Health Net, Health Choice, United Health Care, Mercy Care, and Maricopa Health Plan. When picking a plan, find out which contacts with your providers.
Financial eligibility must be met to apply for AHCCCS and special plans are offered to those eligible for Medicare including QMB, SLMB, and Ql-1. To apply or for more information refer to https://www.azahcccs.gov. Eligibility requirements can be found here.
SHIP Program (State Health Insurance Assistance Program)
SHIP is part of the Arizona Department of Economic Security and provides free counseling services for those with Medicare or AHCCCS. They provide education, avocation, and resources to assist people in making decision about their state benefits. More information can be found at https://www.azdes.gov/daas/ship/.