Every day, 10,000 Americans turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare. If you’re one of the many Illinois residents approaching their 65th birthday, now is the time to recognize all of the benefits you can receive through Medicare.
Of course, any change to health care coverage can be intimidating, but Medicare is here to save you money! By delaying the process, you only leave yourself open to avoidable costs.
Read on as our experts dive into your Medicare Supplement Insurance and Medicare Advantage plan options in Illinois.
2020 Illinois Medicare statistics:
The number of Illinois residents enrolled in Medicare sits below the national average, so before we jump into coverage options, let’s look at some of the financial assistance programs available to Illinois residents.
Illinois has four Medicare Savings Programs to provide residents with financial assistance for Medicare coverage:
Medicare Supplement Insurance plans (also known as Medigap plans) help Original Medicare beneficiaries cover out-of-pocket costs. The plans fill in these gaps by covering some of the expenses, including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
Some Medicare Supplement plans in Illinois offer additional benefits, such as emergency medical care outside the USA, but the plans cannot provide coverage for prescription drugs.
In Illinois, insurers currently provide all ten different Medicare Supplement plans:
Although, the state will be phasing Plan C and Plan F out through 2020.
All plans are standardized, so Plan G, for example, will have the same benefits regardless of the insurance provider. The coverage may remain the same from company to company, but costs and out-of-pocket expenses will vary.
Around 750,000 of Illinois’ Original Medicare enrollees have Medigap coverage – a much higher rate than the nationwide figure.
Many states do not allow Medicare Supplement Insurance for individuals who qualify for Medicare early because of a disability. However, in Illinois, Medicare Supplement Insurance is available to all Original Medicare enrollees, including those under 65 years old.
Medicare Supplement Plan F is one of the most comprehensive supplement plans, and, as such, is one of the most popular. However, since January 1, 2020, all newly eligible Illinois Medicare beneficiaries have been unable to enroll in the plan.
Medicare Advantage plans provide the same coverage as Original Medicare, plus extra benefits like prescription drug coverage and other healthcare services. Medicare Advantage combines the benefits of Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) and specific supplemental plans in a single plan.
These plans can be purchased from Medicare-approved private carriers in Illinois. Each county has contrasting Medicare Advantage plans available, ranging from three in some areas to 40-something in others.
Medicare’s annual election period (October 15 to December 7) is the time frame in which Illinois beneficiaries can switch between Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare. Illinois residents can also switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period (January 1 to March 31).
Alongside hospital and medical coverage (Part A and B), some Medicare Advantage plans in Illinois provide prescription drug coverage (Part D). Medicare Advantage plans including this coverage are known as Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans.
Medicare Advantage holders should get prescription drug coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan instead of a 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.
The best time for Illinois residents to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan is during their Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment. This six-month period starts on the date your Part B coverage becomes effective.
If you miss this six-month period, insurers can use your preexisting health conditions to charge higher premiums and even deny coverage.
All ten Medigap plans: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N are available in Illinois. However, Plan C and Plan F are being phased out, with all newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries unable to enroll in the plans.
The key to finding the best Medicare Supplement plan in Illinois is comparing all your options. Medicare Haven’s licensed agents can guide you through the options available and determine if you’re eligible for any financial assistance programs. It’s our job to help find you the best Medicare plan to match your needs.
If you have any questions about Illinois Medicare in 2020, and your eligibility for financial assistance, speak to one of our licensed agents today. Our agents will discuss your Medicare options and help find a plan that works for you. Call us today at 1-844-236-0228.