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Medicare Supplement Plans in Arizona

What is a Medicare Supplement plan?

Beneficiaries wishing to add coverage to their Part A and Part B plans may choose to do so through a Medicare Supplement plan in Arizona. Also referred to as Medigap, these plans fill in gaps in Original Medicare coverage.

Coverage might include out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. Hospice or additional hospital coverage might be added as well. Unlike a Medicare Advantage plan, Medicare Supplement plans in Arizona are not designed to stand alone and may only be purchased in combination with Original Medicare. Those who wish to get stand-alone coverage other than their Original Medicare coverage may want to consider replacing Part A and Part B with a Medicare Advantage plan.

Beneficiaries may choose from a variety of Medicare Supplement plans in Arizona, which are all classified by a letter. There are 10 standardized lettered plans available across the country, and each lettered plan must offer the same benefits regardless of the private insurance company offering it. The most common type of plan on a national level is Medigap Plan F, which is held by 40% of all Medicare beneficiaries in the United States. Medigap Plan F is available in Arizona.

All of the same-lettered plans will offer similar benefits, but cost can vary based on the specific company offering the benefits. Coverage does not generally include additional care, such as vision, hearing, or dental, although additional benefits, like coverage while traveling outside of the country, may be offered. Prescription drug coverage was discontinued on Medicare Supplement plans in Arizona in 2006.

Beneficiaries may choose to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan in Arizona during their six-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which begins on the first day of the month that they are both at least 65 years old and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this period, companies are not allowed to deny coverage or charge higher premiums to beneficiaries due to pre-existing medical conditions. After the Open Enrollment Period, beneficiaries may also enroll in a Medigap plan, although protections for pre-existing medical conditions no longer apply.

Choosing Medicare Supplement plans in Arizona

Although plan coverage may be similar between Medicare Supplement plans in Arizona that fall into the same plan type, costs for the plans can vary. Beneficiaries should first select the plan type that best meets their needs in terms of coverage options. From there, beneficiaries can shop for different plans within that single plan type, based on the cost of the plan.

Currently, the majority of beneficiaries in the state are enrolled in a Medigap Plan F, with 67% of beneficiaries choosing this plan type. Another 8% are enrolled in a Medigap Plan C.

Trends in Arizona Medicare Supplement plans

Some of the trends in Medicare Supplement plans in Arizona include:

  • There were 977,447 Medicare beneficiaries in Arizona in 2012.
  • That number made up 15% of the total population in the state.
  • There are around 50 companies currently offering Medigap plans in Arizona.
  • Monthly premiums for Medicare Supplement plans in Arizona range from around $40 to $300, depending on the beneficiary's age and the company offering the plan.
  • Arizona companies are not required to offer Medigap plans to disabled Medicare beneficiaries.
  • All 10 plan types are available in Arizona, with more than 100,000 beneficiaries choosing Plan F.

Data provided by America's Health Insurance Plans, Center for Policy and Research and the Arizona Department of Insurance, and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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