Medicare Supplement Plans in Arkansas
What is a Medicare Supplement plan?
In Arkansas, a Medicare Supplement plan, also referred to as Medigap, is a way for beneficiaries in the state to increase their Medicare benefits. These plans offer coverage to fill in the gaps left by Part A and Part B, for costs like coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles. A Medicare Supplement plan is not designed to be a stand-alone plan, and it cannot be used in place of Original Medicare.
A Medicare Supplement plan in Arkansas is available to beneficiaries who are already enrolled in Part A and Part B. In addition to coverage for the costs listed above, these plans might include coverage of hospice care, blood, or medical care when traveling outside of the country.
Medicare Supplement plans do not include vision, dental, or hearing care. Additionally, prescription drug coverage has not been included with Medicare Supplement plans since 2006. Beneficiaries interested in these types of benefits should consider enrolling in either a Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan (PDP).
Enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan in Arkansas
In most cases, beneficiaries enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan in Arkansas during their Medigap Open Enrollment Period. During this time, insurance companies are prohibited from denying coverage or charging higher premiums to Medicare beneficiaries based solely on their medical history or pre-existing medical conditions. However, beneficiaries that enroll after their Open Enrollment Period may be subject to higher premiums or denial of coverage altogether.
Under federal law, insurance companies offering Medicare Supplement plans in Arkansas must provide similar coverage based on their plan type. There are 10 Medicare Supplement plans, and each plan is classified by the letters A through N. Each lettered plan must offer the same benefits regardless of which private insurance company offers it. However, plans with the same letter may have different costs based on the company offering it, and also the specific location of the plan.
Choosing a Medicare Supplement plan in Arkansas
When shopping for a Medicare Supplement plan in Arkansas, it is important to choose the plan that best meets your medical and financial needs. First, determine which plan type offers the coverage you need most. Once you have chosen a plan type, select a specific plan based on the overall cost of the coverage.
In Arkansas, 20% of Medicare beneficiaries with a Medicare Supplement plan chose to enroll in Medigap Plan F, while 2% chose Plan C. The rest chose from other Medicare Supplement plan types in Arkansas.
Trends in Medicare Supplement plans in Arkansas
Some interesting trends in Medicare Supplement plans in Arkansas include:
- There were 552,375 Medicare beneficiaries in Arkansas in 2012.
- That number made up 19% of the total population in the state.
- More than three-fourths of the beneficiaries in the state qualified for benefits by age, while the rest qualified by disability.
- There were two companies in the state offering Medigap plans to disabled beneficiaries under the age of 65.
All 10 types of Medigap plans were available in Arkansas, with premiums ranging from $40 to nearly $300.
Data provided by the Arkansas Insurance Department and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.