Regence BlueShield of Idaho provides Medicare health insurance to Idaho residents. As part of its health insurance program, it offers healthy lifestyle incentives, prescription drug benefits, support services, information, coaching and a helpline staffed by nurses.
Regence BlueShield of Idaho is a Medicare plan, which provides Medicare Part C and Part D coverage to eligible residents. Medicare Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage, and it differs from standard Medicare plans in that it limits patients to one provider network. The patient is also required to have a primary care physician, which is unlike the original Medicare plan. Medicare Part D is a prescription drug benefit.
Regence BlueShield offers each of these plans separately, but individuals can take them together. Premiums, deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket expenses vary based on the chosen plan and county of residence.
Medicare eligibility is determined at the federal level. All U.S. citizens who are 65 years are older and have paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years qualify. Permanent residents who meet these requirements and have resided in the United States for 5 continuous years are also eligible. Citizens and permanent residents whose spouses have paid 10 years of Medicare taxes qualify.
Individuals who receive Social Security Disability Insurance payments or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for at least 24 months qualify to enroll in Medicare. There are special provisions for disabled individuals with kidney disease or Lou Gehrig's disease that waive the 24-month requirement.