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Finding Medicare Plans in Arkansas

Finding the right Medicare coverage can be daunting, even if you’ve enrolled before. We don’t think it has to be. We’ve done the research to help you navigate the different Medicare plans in Arkansas.

Who’s Eligible for Medicare Plans in Arkansas?

Medicare is a government-sponsored program that provides healthcare to people who qualify based on either age or disability. Most people first become eligible for Medicare at age 65. If you’re under 65, you may also qualify if you’ve received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for 24 months or have been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or 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 worked for 10 years at a job that paid into your Medicare through Social Security deductions.

If you’re unsure about your eligibility for Medicare plans in Arkansas or will be turning 65 within the next six months, we can help. Talk to a licensed insurance agent by calling the number above.

What Are My Options for Medicare Plans in Arkansas?

Original Medicare Part A and Part B

Original Medicare is the government sponsored part of Medicare, which has two components: Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). It’s important to recognize that Original Medicare doesn’t cover everything. Those enrolled in Original Medicare still pay a portion of their medical bills through coinsurance, copays, and deductibles. For that reason, there are options available to increase your coverage.

Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)

Private insurance companies, contracted with Medicare, offer Medicare Advantage plans. These plans work as an alternative to Original Medicare Parts A and B. These plans must provide the same coverage as Original Medicare (Parts A and B), except for hospice care, which would still be covered by Part A. Additionally, Medicare Advantage plans often include additional benefits not covered by Original Medicare, like dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage are called Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plans.

It is required that you first be enrolled in both parts of Original Medicare to be eligible for a Medicare Advantage plan. Premiums for these plans vary by state and coverage. In addition to your Part C premium, you’ll have to continue paying your Part B premium.

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D)

Medicare Prescription Drug plans, or Medicare Part D, are available through and coordinated by Medicare-approved private insurance companies. Beneficiaries who are eligible for Original Medicare, Part A and/or Part B and are permanent residents of the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan service area can enroll in 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 for enrolling later.

There are stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug plans that work alongside Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and there are Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage, called Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plans.

Every medication covered by a Medicare Part D plan has a fixed copay or coinsurance that determines the cost. Medications are sorted into tiers, based on their cost, and laid out in a formulary provided by the carrier. Using the formularies, you can compare the costs of your medications across the available plans to find the best overall value.

Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)

Medicare Supplement plans work to fill in the gaps in the coverage from Original Medicare Parts A and B. These plans are provided by private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare. They pair with Original Medicare to pay for the things that Parts A and B don’t cover, like coinsurance, deductibles, and copays.

When Can I Enroll In A Plan?

Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans

You are first eligible to enroll in Medicare plans during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). This period begins 3 months before the month of your 65th birthday, includes the month of your birthday, and continues for 3 months after. This means that you have a total of seven months to enroll in a plan.

You can then modify your Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug coverage during the Annual Election Period (AEP). The AEP runs 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

Your first opportunity to enroll in a Medigap plan is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. 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 miss your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, providers may charge higher premiums or reject your request for coverage altogether.

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?

Here at MedicareMatchup, we provide a convenient way to evaluate the Medicare plans in your area. We’ll provide you with personalized plan information and help you find the right coverage for your needs. Give us a call to speak to a licensed insurance agent or see plan information online by using the form below.

Additional Medicare Resources in Arkansas

Arkansas’ Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) 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 Arkansas is available to Medicare beneficiaries that have limited income and resources to help pay for Medical expenses, like premiums and deductibles.

Sources: Medicare.gov; www.insurance.arkansas.gov

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Disclaimers: Outside of the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, members can enroll in a plan only if they meet certain criteria. A licensed insurance agent can help you determine whether you are eligible. Plan availability varies by region and state. Callers will be directed to a licensed insurance agent with a third-party partner of Medicarematchup.com who can provide more information about Medicare Advantage plans offered by one or several Medicare-contracted carrier(s). Enrollment in any plan depends on contract renewal. Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed the information contained in this advertisement. Not connected with, or endorsed by, the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. This information is not a complete description of benefits. For a complete listing of Medicare plans, please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or consult www.medicare.gov.