Can I Choose Health Coverage through Covered California Instead of Medicare?

Can I Choose Health Coverage through Covered California Instead of Medicare?

Since last fall, we at California Health Advocates have received many questions related to Medicare and Covered California, the state’s health exchange or Marketplace. We updated our information as federal agencies developed guidance on these issues. See our FAQs About Medicare and Covered California.

Earlier this week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released FAQs Regarding Medicare and the Marketplace (PDF). The document is a response to questions from us at California Health Advocates and other advocacy organizations.

The 15-page document has 5 sections answering questions about prescription drug coverage, premium tax credits and penalties that may apply to Medicare beneficiaries, including:

  • Do I need a Marketplace plan if I already have Medicare?
  • What should I do if I have a Marketplace plan when I become eligible for Medicare?
  • If a Marketplace plan costs less than Medicare, can I choose Marketplace coverage instead of Medicare?

If you have questions about Medicare and Covered California, please contact your local Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) at 1-800-434-0222.

Karen Fletcher
Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.