Medicare & Other Health Insurance

Medicare is a federal health care program for seniors and people with disabilities. It does not cover health care services such as dental care, glasses and hearing aids. In addition, Medicare does not cover 100% of certain covered costs. As a result, many people choose to supplement Medicare with coverage that pays for or reduces their out-of-pocket costs, and may provide additional benefits. Some of the most common ways people supplement Medicare are with Medigap policies,  Medicare Advantage plans, Medi-Cal (California's Medicaid Program), or Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) for people with low income and assets.

This section focuses on the other coverage options you may have in addition to Medicare because:

  • You work or your spouse works
  • You have continuation coverage under COBRA or CalCOBRA
  • You have retiree health coverage
  • You bought an individual health insurance policy before going on Medicare, or
  • You are a veteran.

It is important to understand the rules for these plans and how they coordinate with your Medicare coverage.

If you have questions, contact your local Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) at 1-800-434-0222 for more information.

In this section:

  1. Coverage While You and/or Your Spouse Works

    Learn your Medicare coverage choices, including your option to delay Medicare enrollment while you or your spouse works.
  2. COBRA & CalCOBRA Insurance

    Review how Medicare works with COBRA and CalCOBRA coverage.
  3. Individual Health Insurance

    Learn how this insurance may or may not coordinate with Medicare.
  4. Retiree Plans

    Understand the variations in retiree plans, and how they coordinate with Medicare and Medicare's prescription drug benefits.
  5. TRICARE For Life & Veterans Affairs Benefits

    Find out about additional coverage options for veterans, military retirees and their families.
  6. Resources

    Fact sheets and resources related to supplemental health insurance.

back to Home page

Updated Nov. 29, 2010

Get Help with Free
Medicare Counseling:

Find your local HICAP.

1-800-434-0222

California Health Advocates: the best source of unbiased Medicare information for California beneficiaries.