Medicare beneficiaries in Arizona who need help paying for Medicare-related expenses may want to consider enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan (also referred to as a Medigap plan). Medigap plans in Arizona are available through private insurance companies, and they generally provide help with expenses incurred under Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, like copayments, coinsurance, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs. As an Arizona resident, you may have a number of Medigap plan options, usually depending on the zip code in which you live.
There are 10 standardized Medigap plans available in 47 states, each of them labeled with a letter (such as A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N), with plans of the same letter offering the same benefits. Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin offer Medicare Supplement plans that differ from the 10 standardized plans available in Arizona and the rest of the country.
Medicare beneficiaries in Arizona already enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, are eligible to sign up for Medigap plans. The best time to buy a Medicare Supplement plan is during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This six-month period starts the first day a beneficiary is age 65 or older and is also enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this time, Medicare beneficiaries in Arizona can sign up for any Medicare Supplement plan available in their area, with the insurance company of their choosing, without being subject to restrictions for any pre-existing conditions. There are generally no additional enrollment periods besides each beneficiary's Medigap Open Enrollment Period, so any Arizona resident looking to enroll in a Medigap policy outside of this time may be denied coverage or charged more for his or her insurance policy.
In Arizona and the rest of the United States, Medigap plans do not offer prescription drug coverage, so you may want to enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan to receive coverage for drug expenses. Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans in Arizona are available through private insurance companies.
Be aware that even if you sign up for a Medigap plan in Arizona, you must remain enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, and go on paying your Medicare Part B premium, to keep your health insurance coverage. Medigap plans are meant to supplement - not replace - Original Medicare.
Before you purchase a Medigap plan, it's important that you familiarize yourself with what each of the 10 standardized plans has to offer. Here's a look at the Medigap benefits you may be eligible to receive as a Medicare beneficiary in Arizona.
|2014 Medicare Supplement Plans|
|Medicare Supplement Benefits||A||B||C||D||F*||G||K||L||M||N|
|Medicare Part A co-insurance hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Medicare Part B copayment or co-insurance coverage||X||X||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X||X|
|First 3 pints of blood||X||X||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X||X|
|Part A hospice care co-insurance or copayment||X||X||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X||X|
|Skilled Nursing Facility care co-insurance||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X||X|
|Medicare Part A deductible||X||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||50%||X|
|Medicare Part B deductible||X||X|
|Medicare Part B 'excess charges'||X||X|
|Foreign travel emergency coverage (up to plan limits)||80%||80%||80%||80%||X||X|
|Medicare preventative care Part B co-insurance||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Out-Of-pocket limits apply|
Additionally, Medicare Supplement Plan F offers a high-deductible version in which beneficiaries pay the deductible before the plan begins coverage. Also be aware that once you reach the out-of-pocket limits indicated above, both K and L Medicare Supplement plans pay 100% of covered services for the remainder of the calendar year. In addition, Medicare Supplement Plan N pays 100% of the Medicare Part B coinsurance, except for up to $20 copayment on doctor's visits and up to $50 copayment on emergency room visits.
Supplement Plan F is the most comprehensive of the 10 plans available, covering almost 100% of Medicare-associated out-of-pocket costs. But even under Medicare Supplement Plan F, beneficiaries in Arizona may still incur some out-of-pocket costs, like the Medicare Part B premium.
Even though Medicare Supplement plans in Arizona with the same letter designation don't vary in coverage or benefits, each independent insurance company offering Medicare Supplement plans is allowed to determine its own monthly premium structure. This means that a resident of Tucson in Pima County may pay more or less than a resident of Phoenix in Maricopa County for an identical Medicare Supplement plan. It can be to your advantage to compare all Medicare Supplement plans in Arizona available to you, and then make your final choice based on your personal budget and health requirements.
Get more information about Medicare insurance plans in Arizona by reading the following articles:
With so many Medicare Supplement plan options available in Arizona, it's important that you understand what each plan has to offer before making your choice. To get help selecting the plan that works for your personal health needs:
Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.