There are roughly 1.3 million beneficiaries enrolled in Washington Medicare. There are hundreds of plans available in Washington to accommodate everyone’s different needs. Medicare Plan Finder makes understanding the different Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements, and Part D plans easy.
Original Medicare consists of Part A and Part B. Part A is hospital coverage, and Part B is medical coverage. Part A covers things like hospital stays, nursing homes, hospice, and home health services whereas Part B covers ambulance travel, medical equipment, mental health, partial hospitalization, lab tests, and x-rays. Original Medicare is regulated by the federal government which means that it is the same regardless of which state you live in.
Once you enroll in Original Medicare, you should consider enrolling in some form of prescription drug coverage, or you may have a late-enrollment penalty down the road. You can do this through a Part D or Medicare Advantage plan. Some Medicare Supplement plans offer prescription drug coverage, but this is rare.
Washington Medicare Supplements (Medigap plans) are organized by letter (A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, N), and each plan varies in terms of coverage and price. Medigap plans offer financial benefits like help paying your coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles. You cannot be enrolled in Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplements at the same time. Medicare Supplements are generally the same regardless of which carrier you enroll in, but pricing will vary based on carrier, zip code, age, gender, and tobacco use. Even though plans are generally the same, you can easily overpay if you don't do your research. Our agents at Medicare Plan Finder can help you enroll in the best plan at the best rate. To schedule an appointment, fill out this form or call us at 833-438-3676.
Washington offers over twenty different Medicare Advantage plans across the state, and 93% of Medicare beneficiaries have access to at least one, but usually more. These plans cover, at a minimum, the same as Original Medicare. However, most plans offer several additional benefits like hearing, vision, or dental coverage, non-emergency transportation, OTC drug allowance, and group fitness classes through Medicare fitness programs like SilverSneakers. They are sold through private insurance companies, but pricing will vary based on provider, location, and benefits. It’s best to speak with a licensed agent who can help you enroll in a plan that is specific to your needs. To schedule an appointment, fill out this form or call us at 833-438-3676.
If you were employed and paid Medicare taxes for at least 39 quarters, you will not have a premium for Part A. If you only paid Medicare taxes for 30-39 quarters, you’ll pay $240/month in 2019. If you did not pay Medicare taxes for at least 30 quarters, you’ll pay $437/month in 2019.
The standard premium for Part B is $135.50 per month in 2019, but this can change based on your income. Part D, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Supplement costs will vary based on plan benefits, carrier, and location. To find specific costs for plans in your area, contact a licensed agent.
Medicare and Medicaid are both regulated through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. They are often confused because they both provide health coverage for specific groups of people. However, Medicare is intended for older adults over the age of 65 and people with certain disabilities whereas Medicaid is intended for low-income individuals and families regardless of age.
It is possible to be eligible for both programs. In fact, there are more than nine million people enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid. If you qualify for both programs you will likely be eligible for a Dual Special Needs Plan (DSNP). A DSNP is a special type of Medicare Advantage plan that provides extra benefits at lower costs. One large perk of DSNPs is qualifying for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). Most beneficiaries can only change their plan once a year during the Annual Enrollment Period. SEPs allow you to get the coverage you need when you need it, even if it is outside of AEP. When you become eligible for Medicaid, you can join, switch, or drop your current Medicare Advantage or Part D plan at any time.
Other perks of qualifying for a DSNP include potential eligibility in programs like Medicare's prescription drug program, Extra Help, or other Medicare Savings Programs. If you qualify for Extra Help, you won't pay more than $3.40 for generic drugs and $8.50 for brand-name drugs. This can help you save an average of $4,000 a year! On the other hand, Medicare Savings Programs help cover other Medicare-related costs like Part A and B premiums, deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. Our agents can help you apply for any savings programs you may be eligible for. Click here or call us at 833-438-3676.
The Washington Department on Aging and Elder Services offers several programs and services for seniors, family members, and caregivers. These programs include:
Employment: The Service Employment Program helps people over the age of 55 find jobs and access to proper training. The goal of this program is to increase your income which allows you to pay more bills and have easier access to basic needs.
Transportation: The Transportation Assistance Program provides rides for seniors who are traveling to doctor’s appointments, pharmacies, or even the grocery store.
Meals: This program provides meals to seniors or disabled individuals who are unable to shop or prepare meals on their own. This program can adapt the meals to several different types of diets to ensure you get the food and nutrients you need.
Caregiver Support: The Washington Department on Aging and Elder Services provides a Family Caregiver Support Program that recognizes caregivers and helps them develop new ways of support.
Legal Assistance: The Legal Assistance Program provides seniors with free legal advice, representation, and counseling. This can help with housing, healthcare, and guardianship issues.
Most people become eligible for Medicare when they reach their 65th birthday. However, aging-in is not the only way to qualify. If you have ESRD (end-stand renal disease) or ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), you may qualify regardless of your age. Lastly, if you have been receiving SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare during your 25th-month of SSDI benefits. If you have a question regarding your eligibility, fill out this form or give us a call at 833-438-3676.
You can sign up for Original Medicare through Social Security. You can visit www.SocialSecurity.gov, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) Monday through Friday 7 AM to 7 PM, or apply in person at your local Social Security office.
Once you are enrolled in Original Medicare, you can schedule an appointment with one of our agents and discuss the best plan for your specific needs and budget. They can help determine if a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan is right for you. To start enrolling in Washington Medicare, fill out this form or give us a call at 833-438-3676.
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