Did you know Maricopa County in Phoenix, Arizona is the fastest-growing country in the United States? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, it’s already the fourth-largest county in terms of population, and we could easily see that status change in the coming years. Nearly 16% of the total population (more than 719,000 people) is age 65 or older, which means that Medicare is a big topic of discussion among older adults.
If you’re a resident of Maricopa county and ready to transition into Medicare, you’ve got the advantage of having lots of options for coverage. You’ll find great coverage in either a Medicare Supplement plan or a Medicare Advantage plan. The hardest part about making the move to Medicare is deciding which choice is best for you.
To help you with that decision, we’re going to discuss a few of the popular Medicare plans in Phoenix, Arizona. By the end of this article, you’ll have a good understanding of which plans might suit your needs, and you’ll be ready to speak with one of our local Medicare specialists!
Now, just because we’re discussing Medicare Supplements first does not mean they’re the “better” option. Every person has unique needs and different budgets, so there will never be a one-size-fits-all in Medicare. That being said, Medicare Supplements offer excellent coverage and more flexibility than other options.
A Medicare Supplement plan, also called a Medigap plan, acts as your secondary form of insurance. Original Medicare, Parts A and B, remain your primary insurer if you enroll in a Medigap plan. Once Original Medicare pays on a medical claim, it will be sent to your Medicare Supplement plan for processing. How much of the cost it picks up depends on which of the ten letter plans you choose. (Your options include Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. But don’t worry, it’s easier to choose than you might think!)
One of the biggest advantages of a Medigap plan is that they are mobile. You can use them anywhere, as long as the healthcare provider accepts Medicare. (Most healthcare providers accept Medicare, and you can find a complete list at Medicare.gov.)You can use the plan in Phoenix, Arizona or in Orlando, Florida. It will travel with you wherever you are. Even overseas, you will have emergency coverage. You’ll have more freedom to choose your providers than with any other Medicare plan on the market.
The other great thing about Medicare Supplement plans is their predictability. Remember how we said there are about ten plans to choose from? Of those ten, there are two that are the most popular among newly-eligible Medicare beneficiaries, and both have very predictable out-of-pocket costs.
For example, let’s take a look at Medigap Plan G. If you enroll in Plan G, it will pick up every cost that remains after Parts A and B have paid, except for the Part B deductible. Everything else - the Part A deductible and coinsurance costs, Part B coinsurance costs and excess charges, etc. - is paid for by your Plan G insurance carrier.
Plan N, another popular Medigap choice, is nearly the same. However, enrollees will need to pay copayments for doctor’s visits and emergency room visits, as well as any Part B excess charges. In either case, you can see how these plans make it simple to plan for your medical costs.
Of course, there is a downside to this great coverage. Premiums for Medicare Supplement plans are higher than premiums for Medicare Advantage plans, the other choice for Medicare beneficiaries in Maricopa County.
There are lots of Medicare Advantage plans in Maricopa County. This is a great advantage to residents as these plans have lower premiums than Medicare Supplement plans. In fact, the average premium for a Medicare Advantage plan in Maricopa County is around $46 per month.
You will need to do a little research to understand how these plans work and what kind of Medicare Advantage plan is right for you. All of them work quite differently than Medigap plans do. Instead of acting as your secondary insurance, a Medicare Advantage plan become your primary insurer. The benefits provided by Part A and Part B are all bundled into your Medicare Advantage plan, so all claims go directly to the private insurance company.
Low premiums are certainly one of the most appealing characteristics of Medicare Advantage plans. In addition, they also offer many extra benefits not found in Original Medicare or Medigap plans. Every policy is different, but many offer coverage for routine dental services, vision and hearing care, gym memberships, transportation, and meal delivery.
However, even with plans that have a $0 premium, there are other out-of-pocket costs. Most plans have copays or coinsurance costs for doctor’s visits, inpatient hospital stays, ambulance transportation, diagnostic services, etc. That makes these plans less predictable than Medigap plans.
Also, to keep their premiums low, Medicare Advantage plans use provider networks. Some plans offer no coverage if you use an out-of-network provider. You’ll have less freedom to choose providers and less coverage when traveling if you enroll in Medicare Advantage.
Popular Medicare Advantage insurance carriers in Phoenix, AZ include:
Alignment Health Plan
Banner Health Plan
Blue Cross Blue Shield
SCAN Health Plan
If you need help with Medicare in Phoenix, Arizona, give Local Medicare Specialists a call today. Our advisors know all the ins and outs of the Medicare program, and we know your local market, which is so important when choosing a Medicare plan. Our services are completely complimentary, and you won’t pay higher premiums because you worked with us. Call today and get the information you need.
Schedule a FREE Medicare consultation with an agent in your neighborhood.