Summary: If you’re on Medicare in Alabama, you may be able to choose coverage beyond Original Medicare, Part A, and Part B. Your other options might include Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. You may also consider Medicare Supplement insurance plans.
Original Medicare in Alabama
Medicare Part A and Part B together are sometimes called Original Medicare.
- Part A is hospital insurance, and Part B is medical insurance.
- Part B may cover doctor services, preventive care, and durable medical equipment.
Certain out-of-pocket costs may apply to Part A and Part B coverage. These may include coinsurance and deductibles.
Original Medicare doesn’t typically cover your prescription medications. But, it may cover them if given during an inpatient Medicare-approved hospital stay.
How can you enroll in Medicare in Alabama?
Original Medicare in Alabama is also available to eligible people in any state in the U.S.
You may enroll into Medicare automatically at the age of 65. This could happen if you’re getting retirement benefits from either:
- The Social Security Administration (SSA) or
- The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB)
You might qualify for Medicare before age 65 if you:
- Receive certain SSA or RRB disability benefits, or
- Have end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
You might also enroll automatically if you received disability benefits for 24 months.
What are enrollment periods for Medicare in Alabama?
- If you’re not enrolled automatically, you can sign up during your Initial Enrollment Period(IEP). The IEP is a seven-month period. It begins three months before you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends three months after that.
- If you don’t sign up during the IEP, you can enroll during the annual General Enrollment Period (January 1 through March 31). However, you might pay late-enrollment penalties the entire time you are enrolled.
- You could choose to delay enrollment in Medicare Part A or Part B. That might happen if you’re over 65, still working, and on your employer’s health plan. In this case, you might be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. This is when you can sign up for Part A or Part B without a penalty even though your IEP has passed.
You can also apply for Medicare in Alabama by visiting your local SSA office or registering online. You may also apply by phone:
- Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778, Monday through Friday, from 7AM to 7PM.
- If you worked for a railroad, call the RRB at 1-877-772-5772. TTY users can call 1-312-751-4701, Monday through Friday, from 9AM to 3:30PM.
Once you’ve enrolled, your red, white, and blue Medicare card arrives in the mail. This happens about three months before your coverage starts.
Medicare in Alabama Insurance Options
There are other health insurance options that go beyond or add to Original Medicare.
- Private, Medicare-approved insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans. These plans provide Part A and Part B benefits. Many plans may also have extra benefits. These might include dental, vision, and hearing aids.
- Everyone on Medicare in Alabama has access to a zero-dollar premium Medicare Advantage plan in 2020.
- Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans let you have Part A, Part B, and Part D benefits under one plan.
- You can sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan when you’re first eligible for Medicare. You can also sign up during the Annual Election Period. This runs from October 15 to December 7 each year. During this time, you can switch Medicare Advantage plans. You can also drop the plan and return to Original Medicare.
- If you stay with Original Medicare, you may be able to sign up for a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance plan. Medigap plans may help pay for Original Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs. Different plans pay for different amounts of those costs, such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
- Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage. To get Part D, you must first have Part A or Part B. Each Medicare Part D prescription drug plan has a formulary, which is the plan’s list of covered prescription medications. Prices are different among plans. Details may change at any time. Your plan will notify you of any changes.
Medicare in Alabama Resources
- State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP): Toll-free number 1-800-243-5463 | Local 1-334-242-5743 | Monday through Friday, 8AM to 5PM ET |Website
- National Institute on Aging Information Center: Toll-free number 1-800-222-2225 | TTY users call 1-800-222-4225 | Monday through Friday, 8:30AM to 5PM ET |Website
Learn more about your options for Medicare in Alabama:
Medicare Supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program.
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