Did you know that there are well over one million Medicare beneficiaries in the state of Arizona? We’re here to help as many beneficiaries as we possibly can. Even though our office is located in Tucson, we have agents that service the entire state of Arizona. The first step for enrolling in the best Medicare plan for you is figuring out what your Arizona Medicare options are.
Anyone who is above the age of 65 (or is about to turn 65) is eligible to enroll in Medicare. If you are not yet 65 but have been diagnosed with either ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) or ESRD (End-Stage Renal Disease), you can qualify for Medicare regardless of your age.
Original Medicare costs (Part A and Part B) are standard nationally. If you have worked for most of your life and paid taxes towards the Medicare program, you will most likely have premium-free Part A. The standard premium for Part B is $135.50 in 2019, but this number can change based on your income level. The number is subject to change each year.
Private Arizona Medicare plan costs are not the same state-wide. Plan options and costs are different in every county. There are hundreds of different options - some are cheaper, and others are more expensive but offer more coverage. You may qualify to save on your Arizona Medicare costs if you are eligible for a Medicare Savings Program or Low-Income Subsidy.
If you have ALS, ESRD, and/or you are at least 65 years old AND you meet the Arizona Medicaid income requirements, you can have both Medicare and Medicaid in Arizona. If you are eligible for both programs, you can enroll in a “dual eligible plan” and make the most of your benefits.
Original Medicare by itself includes Part A and Part B. Part A covers hospital visits, nursing homes, hospice, and some home health services. Part B covers doctor visits, lab tests and x-rays, required durable medical equipment, mental health, emergency transportation, and partial hospitalization. Keep in mind that in most cases, all of these services are only covered if deemed medically necessary. For example, you cannot get coverage for an ambulance ride unless you legitimately need the ambulance to get to the hospital. There are other plans available that are offered by private insurance companies and can help you have more coverage than what Original Medicare provides.
The traditional or “Original” Medicare plan offered federally includes “Part A” and “Part B” only. After enrolling in Original Medicare, Most people will want a way to add prescription drug coverage. You can do that by enrolling in a “Part D” plan. If you prefer, you can select either a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan that includes prescription drug coverage (but you can’t have both).
Arizona Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance carriers and include everything that Original Medicare covers, plus additional benefits like prescription drug coverage, dental, vision, hearing, fitness, transportation, etc. Each plan is different and availability depends on your location. Medicare Supplement plans are also offered by private insurance carriers. Sometimes they can include extra benefits like prescription coverage and fitness, but in most cases, Medicare Supplement plans are more designed to help you cover your other Medicare costs, like your Part B deductible and copayments.
Medicare is not a “one size fits all” program. You may think Arizona Medicare Advantage plans are best, while your neighbor may only need Original Medicare! To figure out which option is best for you, you’ll want to start by listing out all of your medical and financial concerns. What types of medical services and goods do you need coverage for? How much can you afford to spend on your Medicare plan each month? Once you’ve answered those questions, or if you need help answering those questions, set up an appointment with an agent in your area.
You can apply for Medicare either online at www.SocialSecurity.gov., in person at a Social Security office near you, or by phone at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Keep in mind that this is for enrolling in Original Medicare only. To enroll in a private Medicare plan, like Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplements, you’ll need to speak to an individual insurance carrier or an agent who sells plans from carriers in your area.
With one of our main offices right in the heart of Tucson, we have hundreds of agents throughout the state of Arizona. Give us a call or complete this form and we can send one of them to your home to help you sort through your options for Medicare in Arizona and enroll in the best plan for your needs.
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