Summary: Your options for Medicare in Connecticut may go beyond Original Medicare. You can also choose to enroll in the Medicare Advantage program, also called Medicare Part C. Another option is a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. You may also buy Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance.
Original Medicare in Connecticut
Original Medicare in Connecticut includes both:
- Medicare Part A, hospital insurance, and
- Medicare Part B, medical insurance
Original Medicare doesn’t generally include prescription drug coverage, except in certain situations, like when you’re a hospital inpatient.
Once you turn 65, you can generally get Medicare in Connecticut if you meet residency requirements. You might also qualify for Medicare before you turn 65 in some cases.
How can you be eligible for automatic enrollment into Original Medicare in Connecticut? You must already be receiving benefits from Social Security (SSA) or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) when you qualify for Medicare.
What if you’re not eligible for automatic enrollment? You can enroll in Medicare during your seven-month Medicare Initial Enrollment Period, or IEP. This seven-month period:
- Starts three months before the month you turn 65,
- Includes your birthday month, and
- Continues for three more months.
Your Medicare IEP may be different if you qualify for Medicare before age 65.
If you don’t enroll in Medicare during that time, you can still enroll during the General Enrollment Period. This runs from January 1 – March 31. However, if you miss your IEP and enroll in Medicare at a later date, you may have to pay a late-enrollment penalty.
Part A has no premium if you’ve worked at least ten years while paying Medicare taxes. Otherwise, you may have to pay a monthly premium for Part A.
Medicare Part A offers the following benefits:
- Inpatient hospital care
- Skilled nursing facility care
- Nursing home care
- Hospice care
- Limited home health services
Medicare Part B offers medical insurance. For Medicare in Connecticut and the rest of the United States, you typically pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part B. Higher-income people might have to pay more.
Medicare Part B covers services and items such as:
- Clinical research
- Ambulance services
- Durable medical equipment
- Mental health
- Second opinion before surgery
Medicare in Connecticut Plan Options
When you’re on Medicare in Connecticut, you may have several insurance options. Private, Medicare-approved companies offer these plans. Here’s a quick summary of these choices.
Medicare Advantage plans offer another way to receive your Part A and Part B benefits.
- Many Medicare Advantage plans in Connecticut offer extra benefits. These may include routine dental, vision, and hearing benefits.
- Another option may be Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans. They combine Medicare health and drug coverage into one plan.
Whether you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you need to have Part A and Part B to qualify. You must continue paying your Part B premium. You also need to pay the Medicare Advantage plan premium, if any. Some 2020 Medicare Advantage plans in Connecticut have $0 premiums.
Read more about Medicare Advantage in Connecticut.
What if you stay with Original Medicare? It doesn’t usually cover prescription medications. So, you may be able to enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.
A Medicare Advantage prescription drug plan includes drug coverage. So if you have Medicare Advantage, in most cases you wouldn’t be able to add a separate Medicare Part D policy.
Find out more about Medicare prescription drug coverage in Connecticut.
If you stay with Original Medicare, another option you may have is to buy a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance plan. This may help pay for Original Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs.
Different Medigap plans pay for different amounts of those costs. These may include copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
You can read more about Medigap insurance plans in Connecticut.
The costs of plan options for Medicare in Connecticut may vary. They may require:
- A monthly premium,
- Annual deductible, and
- Copayment or coinsurance
You may have different Medicare plan options based on your county. For example, if you live in Bridgeport, in Fairfield County, you may have different plan options than in New Haven County.
You may want to think about the type of Medicare coverage you need. What plan type suits your budget, health situation, and lifestyle?
- For example, you might be able to find a Medicare Advantage prescription drug plan that includes fitness and dental benefits.
- What if you have many doctor visits and don’t want to deal with copayments or coinsurance? You might want to buy a Medigap plan.
Medicare Supplement insurance doesn’t work with Medicare Advantage plans.
Medicare in Connecticut Resources
There are state resources that can assist you with your questions. Here are some that you may find helpful.
- Connecticut Department of Insurance, 1-800-297-3800
- State Department on Aging, 1-800-994-9422
- Connecticut Association for Healthcare at Home, 1-203-265-9931
- State Medical Assistance Office, 1-800-842-1508
Medicare Supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program.
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