In Massachusetts, as in other states, US citizens and permanent residents are eligible to enroll in Medicare to receive health coverage once they turn 65. Options include affordable hospital and medical insurance under Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, and private health insurance under Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) and Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage).
Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance) are together referred to as Original Medicare. Massachusetts residents, as it is for residents of other US states, usually don’t pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A coverage if you or your spouse paid enough Medicare taxes while working. Part A benefits include, but are not limited to, the following health services:
Original Medicare also covers medical insurance, under Medicare Part B. As in other states, most Medicare beneficiaries in Massachusetts have to pay a standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B. Medicare beneficiaries in Massachusetts whose annual income is above a certain amount may have to pay a higher premium. Under Medicare Part B, Massachusetts residents receive, among others benefits, the following services and supplies:
Residents of Massachusetts may enroll in Original Medicare, Part A and/or Part B, during the following enrollment periods:
You are eligible for Medicare in Massachusetts if:
In Massachusetts as in other states, you can apply for Medicare through the SSA. If you are applying for retirement benefits, you can enroll in Medicare at the same time. You can apply:
Medicare beneficiaries in Massachusetts can opt for private insurance under Medicare, through Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C). Medicare Advantage in Massachusetts is required by the government to offer at least the same coverage as Original Medicare, Part A and Part B. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer extra coverage not available under Original Medicare, like vision (for eyeglasses, for example) and hearing (if you wear a hearing aid), so be sure to compare all Medicare Advantage plans available in Massachusetts before you make your selection. Read more about Medicare Advantage plans in Massachusetts.
Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans combine health and prescription drug coverage into one plan, and they’re also available to Medicare beneficiaries in Massachusetts. But Medicare beneficiaries in Massachusetts should be aware that even if they sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan, they have to stay enrolled in Original Medicare and continue paying the Medicare Part B premium in order to keep their health coverage and avoid being disenrolled from Medicare.
Medicare beneficiaries in Massachusetts concerned about the out-of-pocket expenses associated with Original Medicare, like coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles, can get help paying for those expenses by enrolling in a Medigap plan, also referred to as a Medicare Supplement plan. While most states offer 10 standardized Medigap plans, Massachusetts offers two special versions of Medicare Supplement plans, customized for Massachusetts beneficiaries. Get more information about Medigap plans in Massachusetts.
In addition, Massachusetts residents eligible for Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, may also enroll in Medicare Part D, which offers stand-alone prescription drug plans through private insurance. Find out about Medicare Part D plans in Massachusetts.
Remember that private Medicare plan benefits vary depending on the Massachusetts county in which you reside. If you live in Boston in Suffolk County, for example, you may have different Medicare plan offerings than a resident of Worcester in Worcester County. Considering the various Medicare insurance plans available in Massachusetts, it’s important to customize your search for plans based on your individual medical and prescription drug needs.
There are a number of resources designed to help Medicare beneficiaries in Massachusetts with Medicare-related issues and concerns. Here are some of the resources that may be helpful to you: