How Does Medicare Work?

How Does Medicare Work?

This chart shows the steps you can take when choosing your Medicare coverage. It lays out the main features of each coverage type side-by-side to help you understand how it all works.

Confused by Medicare terms?

Look it up in the Cigna Medicare Glossary

Step 1 Decide how you want to get your Medicare coverage

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B)

Part A
Hospital Insurance

You can enroll in Medicare Part A once you turn 65. If you’re already collecting Social Security disability benefits, you'll be automatically enrolled in Part A.

Part B
Medical Insurance

Medicare pays 80% of approved charges and you pay about 20%. Part B is optional because you have to pay a monthly premium and meet a deductible before Medicare will pay benefits.

Find out more about Original Medicare (Part A and Part B)

Medicare Advantage (Part C)

Part C
Medicare Advantage Plan


Part A
Hospital

+


Part B
Medical

+


Part D
Prescription

These plans are part of the government's Medicare program, but are offered and managed through private insurers, like Cigna, and may offer plan extras not found in Original Medicare. You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B to join.

Learn more about Medicare Advantage (Part C)

Step 2 Decide if you need to add supplemental coverage

Medicare Supplement Insurance

A Medicare Supplement policy (also known as Medigap) is private health insurance that adds on to Original Medicare. It helps pay about 20% of the Medicare expenses that Original medicare doesn't cover.

Learn more about Medicare Supplement Insurance

Step 2 Decide if you need to add supplemental coverage

Medicare Supplement Insurance

A Medicare Supplement policy (also known as Medigap) is private health insurance that adds on to Original Medicare. It helps pay about 20% of the Medicare expenses that Original medicare doesn't cover.

Learn more about Medicare Supplement Insurance

Step 3 Decide if you need to add prescription drug coverage

Part D
Prescription Drug Coverage

Part D plans are part of the government’s Medicare program, but they’re offered and managed through approved private insurers, like Cigna.

Find out more about Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans

Where are you in your Medicare journey?

Select the option that best describes you:

Notice for persons eligible for Medicare because of disability:

In the following states, all Medicare Supplement plans are available to persons eligible for Medicare because of disability: Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin.