Finding Medicare Plans in Alabama
There are many Medicare options for Alabamans to choose from. However, sorting through all of the options to find the right coverage can be overwhelming; we don’t think it should be. We’ve created this guide to help navigate you through the different Medicare plans in Alabama so that you may find the coverage you need.
Who’s Eligible for Medicare Plans in Alabama?
Medicare is a government-sponsored health insurance program available for people 65 and older. You can also qualify for Medicare under 65 if you have received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for 24 months, have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
To qualify, you must be a citizen or permanent resident, having lived in the US for at least 5 years. Additionally, you or your spouse must have had a job that contributed to Medicare through Social Security deductions for 10 years.
If you are unsure about your eligibility for Medicare plans in Alabama or will be turning 65 within the next six months, we can help. Speak with a licensed insurance agent now by calling the number above.
What are the Medicare Plans in Alabama?
Original Medicare Part A and Part B
Original Medicare is the governmental part of Medicare. It’s split into two parts:
Part A (Hospital Insurance) covers inpatient services, like hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and nursing home care (as long as custodial care isn’t the only care needed).
Part B (Medical Insurance) covers outpatient healthcare needed to treat your medical condition. Services and supplies covered by Part B include: mental health care, ambulance services, and durable medical equipment (walkers, canes, blood sugar monitors, etc.) Part B also covers some preventive care, like flu shots, cardiovascular screenings, and diabetes screenings.
It’s important to know that Original Medicare doesn’t cover everything. For example, Original Medicare typically does not cover prescription drugs, hearing exams and hearing aids, long term care (i.e. care received at a nursing home), vision, or dental care. For this reason, there are Medicare Advantage plans in Alabama that are available so that you may be able to find the coverage you want.
Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)
Private insurance companies approved by Medicare offer Medicare Advantage plans (Part C). Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative way to get the coverage provided by Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). In addition, you may also get dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage with a Medicare Advantage Plan. To qualify, you must first be enrolled in Original Medicare Parts A and B. You must continue to pay your Part B premium along with any Medicare Part C premium you may be charged. If you’re looking to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses, Medicare Advantage Plans can be an option for you as some plans may have lower deductibles and co-pays than Original Medicare.
Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D)
Medicare Prescription Drug plans, often referred to as Part D, are provided and coordinated by private insurance companies contracted with Medicare. Any beneficiary who is eligible for Original Medicare, Part A and/or Part B, and is a permanent resident of the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan service area, can sign-up for Medicare Part D. Medicare Prescription Drug coverage is optional, but if you don’t enroll in Part D as soon as you’re eligible, you might pay a late-enrollment penalty if you enroll later.
You can get Medicare Part D coverage through a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan if you’re enrolled in Original Medicare, or, through a Medicare Advantage plan, by enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug benefits, also known as a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan. Different insurers offer different types of plans, so your monthly plan premium and out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs will vary from plan to plan.
Each medication covered by a Medicare Prescription Drug plan has a set cost in the form of a co-pay or coinsurance according to a tiered system known as a formulary. Every Medicare Prescription Drug plan has a formulary for your reference, showing the cost associated with each covered medication. Reviewing the formularies will allow you to pick the plan with the lowest cost for your prescriptions.
Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)
Medicare Supplement Insurance plans work to fill in the gaps in coverage left by Original Medicare (Parts A and B), in order to provide more complete coverage. Medigap plans can help reduce your out-of-pocket costs by paying for things that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like coinsurance, copays, and deductibles.
When Can I Enroll In A Plan?
Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans
Your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is your first chance to enroll in Medicare plans in Alabama. This IEP starts three months before your 65th birth month and continues for three months after your birth month. This means that you have seven months total to complete your enrollment.
Once your IEP ends, you can make changes to your Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug plans during the Annual Election Period (AEP). The AEP occurs from October 15th to December 7th every year.
Key Fact: The General Enrollment Period provides you an opportunity to enroll in Original Medicare if you missed your IEP. This period occurs every year from January 1st to March 31st. Then, you’ll have an opportunity to select a Medicare Advantage Plan from April 1st through June 30th.
Medicare Supplement Plans
Enrolling during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period ensures access to the Medicare Supplement plan of your choice. For Medigap plans, your Initial Enrollment Period is a six-month period that starts at the beginning of the month you are both 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B.
Important Note: If you fail to enroll during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, carriers can increase premiums or deny you coverage entirely.
Special Enrollment Periods
Certain life events, including moving into or out of a care facility, losing your insurance, or moving outside of your current plan’s coverage area, may qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period. A Special Enrollment Period allows you to make changes to your Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug plan outside of the periods mentioned above. Our licensed insurance agents can help determine if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
How Can I Compare Plans?
With MedicareMatchup, you have access to Medicare plans in Alabama and help with finding the right fit for you. If you’re unsure about your eligibility or will be turning 65 in the next 6 months, we’re happy to help you get ready for enrollment. Give us a call or get plan information online using the form below.
Additional Medicare Resources in Alabama
The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) of Alabama is a free service that provides unbiased, one-on-one insurance counseling and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers.
The Medicare Savings Program in Alabama is available to Medicare beneficiaries who have limited income to provide assistance for Medical expenses, like premiums and deductibles.
Sources: Medicare.gov; www.alabamaageline.gov; www.aldoi.gov