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Medicare in Colorado
By the numbers
The number of Medicare beneficiaries in Colorado is about in the middle when compared to other states. According to statistics from 2015*:
Total number of Medicare beneficiaries in Colorado: 777,428
Number of Medicare beneficiaries in Colorado enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans: 290,466
Number of Medicare beneficiaries in Colorado enrolled in Medicare Part A and/or Part B (not Medicare Advantage): 486,962
If you're enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, you may be interested in knowing that you can add to (or change) your Medicare coverage. If you stay with Original Medicare -- which doesn't include prescription drug coverage, except in certain situations -- you can enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. You may also want to consider adding a Medigap (Medicare Supplement) plan, available from private insurance companies (approved by Medicare), to help with Original Medicare out-of-pocket costs like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Medicare Supplement insurance is available to those age 65 and older enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B and in some states to those under age 65 eligible for Medicare due to disability or end-stage renal disease.
Another way to receive your Medicare benefits is through a Medicare Advantage plan. These plans provide the same benefits as Medicare Part A and Part B (except hospice care, which Medicare Part A still covers), and often include other benefits. Prescription drug coverage and wellness programs are just two examples of the extra benefits some Medicare Advantage plans offer.
Insurance companies offering Medicare Advantage plans or Medicare Prescription Drug Plans must be approved by Medicare. Depending on the terms of the contract between the plan and Medicare, not every plan is available statewide or in all service areas. Each year, the plan must renew its contract with Medicare, so the availability of a plan in a specific service area is subject to change as a result of the annual contract renewal.
Availability and costs of Medicare plan options may vary. No matter which Medicare plan options you may decide on, you must continue paying your monthly Medicare Part B premium.
Medicare resources in Colorado
There are free resources for Colorado residents with Medicare that will provide information about their benefits and Medicare plan options in Colorado.
Medicare Savings Programs in Colorado: Residents with Medicare can apply for one of the savings programs in Colorado through the state's Department of Health Care Policy and Aging. These programs help residents who need help paying their Medicare Part A or Part B premiums. Normally, in order to be accepted into one of the savings programs, your income has to be below a certain limit.
Colorado State Health Insurance and Assistance Programs (SHIP) The Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) has locations throughout Colorado to answer questions about Medicare. Trained counselors provide many different services for no charge, including individual counseling, presentations, and distribution of printed materials.
*Source: Statistical data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, "On its 50th anniversary, more than 55 million Americans covered by Medicare" as of July 28, 2015.