Are you a Georgia resident soon approaching your 65th birthday? If the answer is yes, there’s likely one predominant thing on your mind: Medicare.
When you reach the 65-year-old milestone, you become eligible for Medicare enrollment, the health insurance program that helps senior Americans contend with the increasing cost of healthcare.
Although enrollment is simple, it takes time to understand all the different Medicare components. It might seem like a daunting task – entering a world of healthcare that’s new to you – but doing so ensures you select the best Medicare plan.
The sooner you decide, the sooner you can start enjoying Medicare and avoid the fees that come with delayed enrollment. Remember, you’ve been paying into your Medicare fund your entire working life – it’s time for you to reap the benefits.
Read on as our experts explore Medicare Supplement Insurance and Medicare Advantage plans in Georgia.
Medicare supplement plans cover some of the out-of-pocket costs that come with Original Medicare.
Original Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs, such as copayments, deductibles, and coinsurance, can quickly accumulate, and many Medicare beneficiaries in Georgia look to supplement plans as a way of minimizing them.
Each supplement plan (also known as Medigap plans) has different coverage levels, and some also offer coverage for specific medical services.
Medigap plans can be acquired at any time of the year, but an insurer cannot decline you for coverage for health reasons during your one-time enrollment period, which begins when your Medicare Part B is effective and lasts for six months.
Medicare supplement plans are a popular choice in Georgia. Plans here follow the same model as most other states, 10 standardized options:
Each plan type has the same benefits regardless of the provider, but costs and out-of-pocket expenses vary from company to company.
Similarly, the annual rate increases depend on the provider. Some carriers in Georgia offer ‘issue-age policies’, where the price you pay is locked-in at the age you buy it, with no increase as you age. Rates only increase due to inflation. However, other Georgia carriers operate on ‘attained-age policies’, where the rate can increase on your birthday and due to inflation.
Medicare supplement plans are available through private insurance companies. There are several different insurers to purchase the plans from, but your first task should be deciding which of the 10 standardized Medigap plans meets your needs.
Once you know which lettered plan suits your requirements, you can then select and sort through the different providers to find a plan that works for your budget.
Medicare Advantage is an alternative to Original Medicare. The plan combines Original Medicare, supplemental coverage, and prescription drug plans into an easy, single package. Additionally, Medicare Advantage plans include other services, such as vision and dental.
The premiums are comparable to supplemental coverage under an Original Medicare plan, but you get all the same coverage through a single plan.
Unlike Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans are provided by private insurance companies. In Georgia, there are dozens of different plans and providers to choose from.
Medicare Advantage plans in Georgia offer excellent benefits, and many include Part D prescription drug coverage, too.
If you desire a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan, check that your prescription is covered before enrolling; covered prescription medication varies from plan to plan.
Tip: Medicare Advantage holders should get prescription drug coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan instead of a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D). If you join a Part D plan while enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll be disenrolled and returned to Original Medicare.
In Georgia, there are dozens of Medicare Advantage plans to choose from. If you would like to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you must compare all the different benefits available under each plan to ensure you make the right choice.
Plans come in several different formats; the two most popular in Georgia being Medicare HMO and Medicare PPO plans.
Similarly, you need to compare the costs associated with each plan. Some have appealing low premiums, but always consider the out-of-pocket expenses including, deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
If you would like to explore Medicare Advantage plan options, get a free quote, and start comparing your plan options.
To apply for Original Medicare, you can do so online, in person, or by mail, through the Social Security Administration. However, for Medigap plans, Medicare Advantage, or Part D, you can do so via a Medicare agent.
The best and most comprehensive way to compare Medigap insurance carriers in Georgia is to contact an agent representing all the carriers in your area. SImply, run a free online quote, and compare plans from several different carriers at once!
Part D isn’t required, but if you enroll in a Medigap plan, you will need Part D if you want your prescription drugs covered. However, Medicare Advantage plans often have Part D plans included in them.
If you have any questions about your Georgia Medicare options, speak to one of our licensed agents. Our dedicated team will help find a Medicare plan that works for you. Call us today at 1-844-236-0228.