More than 10,000 baby boomers become eligible for Medicare each day, and many would agree that Medicare can be overwhelming. Should you enroll in Medicare Advantage for extra benefits, or would you rather get financial benefits through Medicare Supplements? What about a Part D plan for prescription drug coverage? The options can be overwhelming, but we’re available to help Arkansas Medicare beneficiaries navigate it all.
Click below to learn more about Arkansas Medicare:
You can only enroll in Medicare during certain times of the year.
When you first become eligible, you’ll enter an Initial Enrollment Period. If you age into the program, this will begin three months before your 65th birthday and end three months after. If you are eligible due to SSDI, you’ll automatically be enrolled in your 25th month of benefits. If you qualify due to ESRD or ALS, you can enroll when you receive your diagnosis.
To add additional coverage after your Initial Enrollment Period, you’ll have to wait for the following enrollment periods:
Original Medicare includes Part A and Part B. Part A covers services like hospital stays, nursing homes, hospice, and home health services. Part B covers outpatient services such as ambulance travel, medical equipment, mental health, partial hospitalization, lab tests, and x-rays. Once you are enrolled in Original Medicare, you can start to explore other plan options that are specific to your zip code.
Private Arkansas Medicare plans include Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements, and Part D. Each plan offers a different type of benefits (health, financial, or coverage).
Medicare Advantage plans are offered from privately-owned carriers, not the government. This means that even though they are still federally regulated, they are able to offer benefits that the Original Medicare program does not. To have Medicare Advantage, you’ll have to keep your Part A and Part B, so you’ll still have all of those benefits.
Plans vary by zip code, but can include benefits like dental, vision, hearing, fitness programs, and prescription drugs.
Medicare Supplements add financial benefits that work alongside Original Medicare. There are ten different types of plans, (A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N), and each letter represents a different combination of coverage. Depending on which plan you select, you can have the following financial benefits:
Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
Part B coinsurance and copayments
Blood work copays (up to three pints)
Hospice coinsurance and copayments
Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
Part A deductible
Part B deductible
Part B excess charges
Foreign emergency travel
Medigap plans are the same regardless of which carrier you enroll with, but plan prices will still vary. One of our licensed agents can show you plans in your area and help you enroll at the best price. Click here to give us a call at 833-438-3676.
Part D plans work alongside Original Medicare to provide prescription drug coverage. Your coverage will consist of a deductible, initial coverage phase, coverage gap, and catastrophic coverage phase.
The annual deductible for 2020 is $435. Some plans may waive, reduce, or change your deductible up front. Once you reach the set deductible, you’ll be covered according to the plan you chose. Your plan will have given you a “formulary,” which explains which drugs are covered. Formularies are typically organized in tiers which represent how much you can expect to pay per drug.
Private plan costs can vary greatly based on the benefits you are looking for and where you live. Medicare Advantage plans in 2020 may cost an average of $23/month.
Most people will not have to pay a premium for Part A so long as they have worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 40 quarters. If you have worked for 30-39 quarters, you will have to pay $252/month in 2020. For any time worked less than 30 quarters, you will have to pay $458/month in 2020.
The Part B premium is $144.60/month in 2020, but this can change based on your income. Pricing for Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements, and Part D plans will vary based on the plan, location, and benefits. Click here or give us a call at 844-431-1832 to get in contact with a licensed agent.
Arkansas Medicare Savings Program and Extra Help
The Extra Help program, also known as LIS (Low Income Subsidies) can help you save more than $4,000/year on prescription drugs, and Medicare Savings Programs can help cover other Medicare-related costs like premiums, deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
If you have low income, it may be worth applying for LIS and Medicare Savings Programs to see if you qualify. There is no fee to apply, and your insurance agent can help you complete your application. Don’t have an agent? Call 844-431-1832 to chat with one of ours! It is free to speak with an agent and there is never any obligation to enroll.
Medicare is designed for older adults over the age of 65 and people with certain disabilities (regardless of age). Medicaid is designed for low-income individuals and families regardless of age. It is possible to be enrolled in both programs. In fact, more than 16,000 beneficiaries are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid throughout Arkansas.
If you are at least 60 years old and have an income at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level, you may qualify for the Arkansas Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. The program provides “access to locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey and herbs.” Your Area Agency on Aging can help you apply.
By providing the information above, I grant permission for Medicare Health Benefits Independent Broker, MedicarePlanFinder.com, and its affiliated agencies to contact me to discuss Medicare Advantage, Prescription Drug Plans, or Medicare Supplement products. Not affiliated with or endorsed by Medicare or any government agency.