If you are just beginning your journey into Medicare, you probably feel overwhelmed and frustrated. There are so many things to consider, and you may not even know what your options are! It may take some time for you to learn the ins and outs, but this guide will help you understand Medicare in Arizona and what options you have for coverage.
Not all Medicare beneficiaries have the same plans or coverage. Everyone starts with Medicare Part A and Part B, but then they can choose to add other options. Let’s discuss each of those now.
Original Medicare includes Parts A and B. Part A provides for inpatient coverage at hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. It also has benefits for home health care and hospice services. Part B provides for outpatient coverage, like visits to your doctor, diagnostic tests, durable medical equipment, and preventive care.
Most people receive premium-free Part A, but everyone pays a monthly premium for Part B. In addition, there are deductibles, copays, and coinsurance costs. And the most important thing to be aware of is that neither A nor B have an annual limit on your out-of-pocket expenses. This is a primary reason beneficiaries choose to enroll in either a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan.
You can enroll in Medicare in Arizona in one of three ways:
Apply online at SSA.gov.
Call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY dial 1-800-325-0778).
Call your local Social Security office and schedule an in-person appointment.
As we mentioned earlier, Medicare Supplements (also called Medigap) are one-way individuals can choose to fill in the gaps of Original Medicare. A Medicare Supplement will act as your secondary form of insurance and will help pay for some of the deductibles, copays, and coinsurance costs that Original Medicare leaves behind.
There are several insurance companies that offer Medicare Supplement plans, including:
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
GPM Health and Life
Guarantee Trust Life
Omaha Insurance Company
In addition to having several carriers to choose from, there is also an array of plans, each named by a letter of the alphabet. Plans include Plan A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Currently, the most popular Medigap plans in Arizona are Plans F, G, and N.
Medicare Advantage (also called Part C) is the second option beneficiaries have to increase their Medicare benefits. If you enroll in Medicare Advantage, your benefits from Parts A and B will be provided by a private insurance company, not the federal Medicare program. MA plans often include extra benefits you won’t find in Original Medicare and come with a low (sometimes $0) monthly premium.
Each plan is different and utilizes its own provider network, so be sure to compare plans carefully before you enroll. Some of the Medicare Advantage carriers in Arizona include:
Alignment Health Plan
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Health Choice Arizona
Imperial Insurance Companies, Inc
Magellan Complete Care
Mercy Care Advantage
SCAN Desert Health Plan
Unless you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage, you will need to enroll in a stand-alone Part D plan. There are many Part D plans in Arizona, and you will choose one based on your coverage needs.
Part D insurance companies in Arizona include:
Clear Spring Health
Mutual of Omaha
One question many Medicare beneficiaries ask is, “Which hospitals take my Medicare plan?” The answer to that question largely depends on if you have Original Medicare or if you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.
Across the country, approximately 96% of all healthcare providers accept Medicare, and Arizona is no different. The same is true for Medicare Supplement plans. A Medicare Supplement will work with any provider or facility that accepts Medicare, regardless of which carrier you enrolled with.
The following are just a few of the hospitals that accept Medicare assignments.
Banner University Medical Center
John C Lincoln North Mountain Hospital
Valleywise Health Medical Center
St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center
Mayo Clinic Hospital
Arizona State Hospital
On the other hand, Medicare Advantage plans operate on provider networks. Members must find out which providers and facilities participate in the plan’s network to get the most coverage and benefits. You can find a list of providers on your carrier’s website or by calling us at Local Medicare Specialists.
If you are looking for help with Medicare in Arizona, look no further than Local Medicare Specialists! Our licensed advisors are experts in the Medicare industry. We will help you get familiar with how Medicare works and find plans that meet your coverage needs. Our services are completely complimentary, so call to schedule your appointment today!
Schedule a FREE Medicare consultation with an agent in your neighborhood.