Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are:
- Age 65 or older
- Under age 65 and have had Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for a certain amount of time
- Under age 65 with end-stage renal disease
Medicare is run by the federal government, not Vermont Health Connect.
If you already have a Vermont Health Connect qualified health plan when you become eligible for Medicare, you can keep it as long as you pay full price for your plan. But, don't wait to enroll in Medicare, even if you have a qualified health plan. If you wait to enroll in Medicare, you may have to pay a penalty when you enroll later. Vermonters who are eligible for Medicare can’t get financial help from Vermont Health Connect.
Vermonters who are already enrolled in Medicare can’t sign up for a new qualified health plan through Vermont Health Connect.
If you are enrolled in Medicaid for Children and Adults (MCA) and become eligible for Medicare, Vermont Health Connect will look at your eligibility and tell you if you can keep Medicaid. There are different rules for Medicaid for the Aged, Blind and Disabled (MABD) and Medicaid for Children and Adults. Once you become eligible for Medicare, Vermont Health Connect will send you an application to find out if you can get Medicaid for the Aged, Blind and Disabled.
To learn more about Medicaid for Children and Adults, call Vermont Health Connect at 1-855-899-9600. To learn more about Medicaid for the Aged Blind and Disabled, call Green Mountain Care at 1-800-250-8427.
Penalties for Late Enrollment
If you don’t sign up for Medicare when you’re first eligible, you may have to pay more when you sign up later:
- Medicare Part A late enrollment penalty
- Medicare Part B late enrollment penalty
- Medicare Part D late enrollment penalty
Get Help with Medicare
The Vermont Association of Area Agencies on Aging can help you decide when, and how, to enroll in Medicare. Local agencies can also help:
- Vermont’s Senior Helpline (anywhere in Vermont) 1-800-642-5119
- Age Well (Addison, Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties, with exceptions) 1-802-876-5065
- Southwest Vermont Council on Aging (Bennington and Rutland counties, with exceptions) 1-802-786-5991
- Northeast Kingdom Council on Aging (Caledonia, Essex and Orleans counties) 1-802-745-0351
- Central Vermont Council on Aging (Lamoille, Orange and Washington counties, with exceptions) 1-802-479-0531
- Senior Solutions (Windsor and Windham counties, with exceptions) 1-802-885-2669
Help Paying Medicare Costs
Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) can help Vermonters pay Medicare costs. To learn more about Medicare Savings Programs, call Green Mountain Care at 1-800-250-8427 Monday through Friday, 8AM to 4:30 PM.