Medicare is a health insurance program offered through the federal government to people age 65 and older as well those who have certain disabilities. You can get coverage directly from it or purchase private plans that cover you too!
Illinois Medicare Insurance Trends
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported the following information on 2024 Medicare trends in Illinois:
- 2,346,109 Illinois residents are enrolled in Medicare.
- In 2024, there were 158 Medicare Advantage plans available in Illinois.
- Medicare Advantage’s monthly premium average decreased in Illinois from $12.13 in 2023 to $11.95 in 2024.
- There are 22 stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans to choose from.
- 100% of people with Medicare will have access to a Medicare Advantage plan with a $0 monthly premium.
- 158 Medicare Advantage plans are available in 2024, compared to 173 plans in 2023.
Medicare Offered in Illinois
In addition to Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans, Illinois also offers Medicare Cost plans, which are Medicare plans that offer policyholders the option of receiving coverage from doctors and medical professionals outside of an approved network.
Original Medicare offers basic health insurance coverage. It is made up of Part A, which covers some inpatient care costs for hospital stays, costs associated with stays in a skilled nursing facility or hospice, and some home health services. Part B covers a portion of the costs for medically necessary services to diagnose or treat a medical condition, and preventive services.
Original Medicare does not cover prescription drugs, dental, vision, or hearing care. Original Medicare is administered by the federal government to U.S. residents over the age of 65, while supplemental Medicare plans to cover things not covered by Part A and Part B can be purchased from private insurance providers.
Medicare Advantage combines Original Medicare with Medicare Part D, which provides prescription drug coverage. Some carriers who offer Medicare Advantage plans in 2024 include:
- Aetna Medicare
- Ascension Complete
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
- Bright Health
- Clear Spring Health
Medicare Supplement Plans
Illinois was one of the first states to make it mandatory for private insurance providers to offer Medigap plans to disabled state residents under the age of 65. Some carriers who offer Medicare Supplement plans in 2024 are:
- AARP – UnitedHealthcare
- Atlantic Coast
- Bankers Fidelity
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Great Southern
- State Farm
Illinois Medicare Enrollment
To qualify for Medicare, Illinois residents must be U.S. citizens aged 65 and over or have received Social Security disability benefits for a minimum of 24 months. Illinois residents under 65 are eligible for Medigap coverage if they have received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for at least 24 months.
Enrollment Period Dates
The enrollment period dates for Medicare in Illinois are the same as the enrollment dates nationwide.
Initial Enrollment Period
This is when you can sign up for a plan
- Begins 3 months before the month you turn 65
- Ends 3 months after the month you turn 65
Medicare Open Enrollment Period
This is when you can sign up for a plan, switch a plan or leave a plan
- Begins October 15th
- Ends December 7th
Special Enrollment Period
Special enrollment periods allow you to enroll outside the regular enrollment periods under specific circumstances.
General Enrollment Period
This is when you can sign up for Medicare Part A and/or Part B if you didn’t sign up when first eligible or if you’re not qualified for a Special Enrollment Period.
- Starts January 1st
- Ends March 31st
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
This is when you can switch or leave a Medicare Advantage Plan
- Starts January 1st
- Ends March 31st
Illinois Enrollment Tips & Advice
- Be aware of when you are eligible for enrollment in Medicare (see above)
- If you think you will need coverage for out-of-network medical care, consider purchasing a Medicare Cost plan
- Consider your specific medical needs when shopping for a Medigap plan, such as vision, hearing, or dental needs
- If you collect SSDI checks, you may enroll in a Medigap plan before you turn 65
- Understand your coverage: Original Medicare may not be sufficient for your health and medical needs
How Do I Enroll in a Medicare Plan?
If you have any questions about Illinois Medicare and your eligibility for supplement or advantage plans, speak to one of our licensed agents today. Our agents will discuss your Medicare options and help find a plan that works for you.