Welcome to Medicare: 3 Perks When you Turn 65

Take advantage of your "Welcome to Medicare" benefits

by Katie Banks+ on Nov 01, 2016 | 5 Comments

As you probably know by now, most people when they turn 65 get Medicare Part A for free, but that is not where the perks end. There are a few “Welcome to Medicare” perks that you should know to make your transition into Medicare a better experience.

Updated Nov 2017 to reflect new information.



Welcome to Medicare Preventive Visit

In the first 12 months that you are in enrolled in Medicare you get a free “Welcome to Medicare” wellness visit. Here are some of the $0 preventive services you can expect during your visit:

  • Simple vision test for glaucoma and other eye problems (remember Medicare does not cover eye glass exams)
  • Measure your body bass index (BMI)
  • Vaccinations
  • Screenings for such things as diabetes and cardiovascular issues
  • Talk to you about creating an advance directive

One Time Medigap Guaranteed Enrollment

Most people will only have one Medicare Supplement plan (Medigap) guaranteed enrollment period in which they don’t have to answer any medical questions. This 6-month period starts when you turn 65 and are first eligible for Medicare Part B. At this time, you can enroll in any Medigap plan available in your area and cannot be turned down.

“Welcome to Medicare” Medigap Discounts

On top of being able to enroll in Medigap without having to worry about any preexisting conditions you can also get “Welcome to Medicare” discounts which lower your premium when you first enroll. Some of the insurance providers that have offered “Welcome to Medicare” discounts on some of there plans are Anthem , Blue Shield and United Healthcare.

As you can see there are some serious perks for turning 65, besides those discounts at Lenny’s, oh, sorry, Denny’s. To learn more about “Welcome to Medicare” perks call 800-930-7956 or click here to get a Medicare Insurance quote.

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Reader Comments and Questions

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By Anne on May 31, 2015

Somewhere on senior65.com I read that Medigap Plan G is not guaranteed issue. I don't believe there is any information to that effect either on Medicare.gov or in the annual "Medicare and You" publication. On what basis are you making this statement? All Medigap plans are guaranteed issue during the same enrollment periods. That is, if one has guaranteed issue for Plan F, one also has guaranteed issue for Plan G and all the other Medigap Plans. In many cases, Plan G is actually more cost effective than Plan F as the premiums can be much less and there is some data indicating that Plan F rates go up faster than Plan G rates. If the premiums are low enough compared to Plan F, one saves money with Plan G even after paying the Part B deductible. Do the math!

Thank you so much for reaching out. You are absolutely right, Plan G can be more cost effective than Plan F, and sometimes they are not. We suggest if Plan G saves you money then go for that one. However, for some people, Medigap Plan G is not available in their area.

We know that info about Medigap Plan G gets lost in the shuffle. Here is the quote from Medicare about guaranteed issue rights (after your initial enrollment period when you are 65): "You have the right to buy Medigap Plan A, B, C, F, K, or L that’s sold by any insurance company in your state." You can see this language on the CMS website. Thanks again for you questions and insight!
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/

By Anne on May 31, 2015

The following is a VERY important point for seniors who don't sign up for Part B when they first turn 65. This point is almost never mentioned in articles about Medigap policies. Anyone who is 65 OR OLDER and enrolling in Part B for the first time has guaranteed issue for 6 months from the effective date of Part B. See "Choosing a Medigap Policy" at Medicare.gov page 14: "The best time to buy a Medigap policy is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This period lasts for 6 months and begins on the first day of the month in which you’re both 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. ……. During this period, an insurance company can’t use medical underwriting."

Great point. There is one clarification that should be stressed about delaying Part B enrollment until after you're 65, most people will need creditable coverage, generally from job-based insurance, to have a guaranteed issuance right with Medigap, as well as, to not have a Part B late penalty. Thanks for your comment!
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/

By JR on May 07, 2015

You said, "most people only have one guaranteed enrollment period", does that SOME people have more than one guaranteed enrollment period?

Good catch! Most people have their only Medigap guaranteed enrollment period once they turn 65, but some enroll later because they had job-based insurance, and some states have birthday rules that let you change plans every year. Hope this explains it better.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/

By Julie Jones-Wilson on April 17, 2015

Is the “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit available if you don't purchase a Medigap plan?

Thanks for your request. Yes, the "Welcome to Medicare" preventive visit is yours to use with or without Medigap.

-Amy from http://www.senior65.com

By Brenda Burk on April 16, 2015

Doesn't Blue Shield offer a Welcome to Medicare Discount?

Thank you for your question. Yes, Blue Shield offers a Welcome to Medicare Discount in some areas. Please call us at 800-930-7956 to learn if your zip code offers it.
-Michelle https://www.senior65.com

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