What do you know about Medicare? Medicare is a federally funded health care program for senior citizens and some disabled Americans. Even though it is a federally funded program, Colorado Medicare plans will be slightly different from plans in other states. The basic plans are the same, but every state, county, and zip code will have a unique set of plans that its residents can choose from. Do you know what Medicare plans are available to you?
Medicare is available to those aged 65 or older and to those who have been diagnosed with either ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) or ESRD (End-Stage Renal Disease). Additionally, you can be eligible for Medicare if you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for at least 25 months. You will be automatically enrolled in your 25th month.
Most Medicare beneficiaries will start their Medicare journey by being automatically enrolled in Part A, which provides hospital, nursing home, and hospice coverage. Then, you’ll need to enroll in Part B, which provides your medical coverage. Keep in mind that even if you are not automatically enrolled in Part B, if you do not enroll when you first become eligible, you will face a late enrollment penalty fee.
Once you have Parts A and B, you’ll need prescription drug coverage. That’s when you can choose between the prescription drug plans available in your area. You can choose based on cost and what types of drugs are covered - make sure you know what drugs you need before you make your decision!
If Part A, Part B, and a prescription drug plan doesn’t sound like enough coverage for you, that’s because there is more out there. Private plans like Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplements are becoming more popular due to their added benefits.
The “best Colorado Medicare plan” is really different for everyone. Medicare Advantage plans in Colorado are generally best for those who are seeking more benefits, like dental, vision, and even fitness memberships. Medicare Supplements, on the other hand, work better for those who need a way to save money on health care costs.
Medicare Supplement plans, also called Colorado Medigap plans, generally don’t provide a lot of additional benefits like Medicare Advantage plans in Colorado do. Instead, they provide financial coverage to help you cover the costs of any Part A and Part B deductibles, copayments, premiums, etc. Medigap plans are organized by letter - A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Be careful - Medigap plans A and B are NOT the same as Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
Medicare Advantage Plans in Colorado generally provide benefits that Original Medicare (Parts A and B) can’t cover on its own. Some additional benefits you may find in Medicare Advantage plans in Colorado are dental, vision, hearing, fitness memberships, non-emergency transportation, meal delivery, etc.
Your Colorado Medicare costs will depend on the type of plan(s) you select. If you stick to Original Medicare (Parts A and B), it will be simple. Most people will have premium-free Part A, and the Part B standard premium is $135.50 in 2019. Your Part D premium can range from as low as $20 to as much as $80, depending on the plan you select. Copayments will vary based on the services you require, but you can at least add up your premiums to figure out what you’ll owe on a monthly basis.
If you decide to enroll in a Colorado Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan, you’ll have a separate premium. These plans have a wide range of costs depending, again, on what you select. Some plans actually have $0 premiums, but usually, that means that your deductibles and copayments will be higher. $0 premium plans are a good financial choice if you do not expect to use your plan often because you’ll pay “as you go” instead of paying a monthly fee. However, $0 premium plans are not for everybody, so be sure to look into all plan details before making a decision (a licensed agent or benefits advisor can help with this).
Yes! If you qualify for Medicare but also meet the income limits for Colorado Medicaid, you can benefit from both programs with a dual-eligible special needs plan. These plans are a form of Medicare Advantage plan. They are usually very comprehensive.
You can apply for Colorado Medicare by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), visiting the Social Security website, or visiting your local Social Security office.
If you’re interested in enrolling in a Colorado Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan, we have agents in Colorado that may be able to help. There are hundreds of plan options, but only some are available in your area, and only a few will make sense for you. We can help break that down for you and make sure you get into a plan that fits your health care and financial needs. To get started, complete this form or call 833-438-3676.
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