Arkansas Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)
Arkansas Medicare Supplement Plans were originally created to add additional benefits to the traditional Medicare coverage. These policies were developed to provide extra coverage to what Original Medicare is not currently covering.
This means you will receive more Medicare approved coverage for out of pocket expenses, such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Medicare Supplement Plans, also known as Medigap, are available to you through private insurance companies. They’re categorized into separate parts and plans.
Arkansas Medicare Options
There are currently four different Medicare plans available to residents in the state of Arkansas.
- Part A: Medicare Part A covers all inpatient procedures and any hospitalization.
- Part B: Any extra medical expenses that occur outside of a hospital setting such as doctor visits, testing, and any other outpatient procedures, will be covered by Medicare Part B. These two parts combined to create what is referred to as the “Original Medicare” plan.
- Medicare Advantage Part C: Part C refers to plans that come directly from private health insurance companies. Holding a Part C Medicare plan will replace Part A and Part B, but may have some limitations.
- Part D: Medicare Part D in Arkansas covers prescription drug plans.
- Medicare Supplements and Medigap: These policies assist with costs in healthcare that Part A and Part B will not cover. This was created with intentions to aid your current Medicare plan.
Requirements for Arkansas Medicare Coverage
In order to be eligible for Medigap, you must be 65 years of age or older. You must also be enrolled in Medicare Part B.
Please note, there is a Part B late penalty if you do not enroll in Part B Medicare as soon as you are eligible. There will be no penalty if you enroll when you are first eligible. However, if you enroll after the initial 12-month period, your Medicare Part B premium will increase by 10% per year thereafter.
If you are currently receiving disability benefits from Social Security in Arkansa or Railroad Retirement benefits, you’ll automatically receive Medicare Part A and Part B.
Depending on where you are located in Arkansas, there is a chance you are eligible for a Medicare Supplement. For more information regarding plans available to those on disability, please contact us today to speak to one of our agents.
Enrolling in Arkansas Medicare Supplement Plans
The Open Enrollment Period (OEP) in Arkansas will begin the first day of the month that you are at least 65 years of age, and when your Part B Medicare plan has become effective.
For example, if you turn 65 on June 10th of 2018, and your Medicare Part B is effective on August 10th, then your OEP begins September 1st.
Once your Open Enrollment Period begins, you will have 6 months to enroll with Guarantee Issuance (GI). Guaranteed Issuance means no senior can be turned down for Arkansas Medicare Supplement Plans.
In the state of Arkansas, there are currently no restrictions or specific guidelines for open enrollment or guaranteed issuance when enrolling in a Medicare supplement plan.
Arkansas Medigap Premiums
Medigap premiums are determined by different deciding factors such as age, sex, location, and also varies throughout providers.
For instance, someone who lives in Little Rock may have a different premium than someone who lives in Jonesboro.
- Attained Age Rated: Attained Age Rated Medigap will be calculated by your current age. This may be the best option when you are 65. However, the cost will increase each year as you get older. Attained Age Medicare Supplements will typically start increasing around the age of 68, anywhere from 1.5%-5% per year.
- Community Rated: When using Community Rated Medigap, the premium will be the same for everyone, regardless of age. The premium will not increase as you get older, but may go up due to inflation or other factors.
- Issue Age Rated: Unlike community rated Medigap, Issue Rated Medigap plans are based solely on the age you are at the time you purchased the policy. Your premium will not increase because of your age. But the older you are when you obtain your policy, the more you will end up paying.
Before selecting the most effective policy for your lifestyle, please consider doing your research or contacting us for more information. Some policies may seem like the best deal, but will leave you paying more in the end than you originally expected to pay.
The Best Arkansas Medicare Supplement Plans
Remember, when comparing Arkansas Medicare Supplement Plans, regardless of the Medicare provider you decide to go with, these letter plans will always be the same.
The only difference for each plan is what the provider chooses to charge. With that in mind, the same letter plan in Fayetteville may differ in cost from the letter plan in Fort Smith.
- Plan N: Medicare Supplement Plan N will cover medical expenses not covered by Medicare health insurance coverage. This plan may not provide the best coverage, but it considered one of the more affordable plans available.
- Plan G: Plan G is a step up from Plan N. Also, Plan G and Plan F are the only plans that cover excess charges.
- Plan F: Plan F leaves beneficiaries with the least amount of out-of-pocket expenses. This is one of the most popular plans amongst Medicare recipients. Regardless of the chosen provider, the coverage will be the same. This plan covers most of your remaining doctor and hospital costs, after Medicare handles their portion of the costs.
- Plan HDF: High Deductible Plan F (Plan HDF) was originally constructed to work with Medicare Part A and Part B. You’ll have full coverage on all out-of-pocket medical expenses like co-payments, coinsurance, deductibles, and other excess charges that are not covered by Original Medicare.
HDF will also hold you responsible for medical expenses meeting your designated deductible amount. Due to the deductible rule, the premium is significantly lower than Plan F.
Please note that some states may be able to charge excess charges. If the state you live in does not charge excess charges, the best plan for you will likely be Plan N. However, if you want coverage for your Part B deductible, you may benefit more from Plan F or Plan HDF, even if the state charges excess charges.
At this time, Arkansas is a state that may charge excess charges. So keep that in mind when choosing Arkansas Medicare Supplement Plans.
Medicare Advantage Plans for Arkansas Residents
Medicare Advantage, also referred to as Medicare Part C, it an option available to you, that requires you to opt out of Original Medicare Part A and Part B.
The insurance provider you choose to purchase your plan from will become your primary coverage. You’ll no longer need Medicare Part A and Part B. Due to Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage, being chosen in place of those options.
When choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan, you’re required to choose from your providers list of doctors and hospitals. This can sometimes be challenging, as the network is changing often.
When choosing Medigap however, you’re not limited to where you choose to seek medical attention. Medicare Advantage and Medigap both have their advantages and benefits. However, we usually find that Medigap is more affordable, with less out of pocket risk.
Medigap along with Original Medicare offers you the best opportunity for coverage when medical emergencies arise.
Arkansas Medicare Prescription Drug Plans
One major expense that is typically forgotten, the purchasing of prescription drugs. Some of these prescribed medications can be expensive and may leave you with a costly health care bill.
Purchasing a Part D plan can help relieve the costs of prescription drugs. Part C, or Medicare Advantage, already include some prescription drug benefits. Do not wait too long without having coverage for prescription medicine, because there is a Part D Penalty.
Part D Penalty: If you do not hold prescription drug coverage when you are qualified for Original Medicare, you become subject to a penalty. Medicare will determine the penalty amount. They do this by multiplying 1% of the national base beneficiary premium by the number of months that you went without Part D coverage.
If you’ve made the decision to move forward with purchasing a Medicare option such as Medigap, PDP plans or Medicare Advantage, please give us a call.
One of our agents would be happy to help you out with the process to get you started. Additionally, feel free to fill out the form for a rate comparison.
Medicare Resources in Arkansas
Even as a Medicare beneficiary, health care costs can sometimes add up, creating unwanted debt. Please note that there are additional options for extra help available to you.
We find that some people benefit from the Medicare Savings Program (MSP), where there are currently four types of financial aid.
Senior Health Insurance Counseling Program (SHIP) is also available in each state to those who currently have, or are eligible for, Medicare, Medicare Supplements, and Medicare Advantage.
Arkansas Medicare FAQ
What are the best Medicare supplement plans for the disabled, under 65, in Arkansas?
In Arkansas you automatically qualify for Medicare Supplement Plan Part A and Part B if you are disabled, under 65. For more information on a plan that may better suit you, please contact us today.
Does Arkansas have the Medicare buy in program?
Eligibility for the Medicare buy-in program varies, and is based off several deciding factors such as income, residency, etc. To see if you are someone who qualifies, give us a call today!
Who is required to be on Medicare in Arkansas?
Anyone who is 65 or older is eligible for Medicare, but it is not a requirement. Those who receive Social Security benefits are automatically enrolled in Medicare when they are 65. There is no way to unenroll from Medicare if you get Social Security benefits. If you still have questions, call us today to speak to one of our agents!