Medicare beneficiaries in Minnesota may have many Medicare Advantage plan options available, depending on where they permanently reside.
Medicare Advantage (Part C) is another way to receive your Medicare benefits; you get the benefits through private insurance companies, but these companies must follow Medicare rules. If you have Medicare Advantage, you’re still enrolled in the Medicare program, but you’ll interact directly with your insurance company, not the federal government.
All Medicare Advantage plans are required to offer at least the same level of coverage as Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, but many offer additional benefits not included in Original Medicare. Depending on the specific plan, you may have coverage for vision, dental, health wellness programs, or prescription medications. If you need hospice care, you’ll be covered through Original Medicare, even if you’re in a Medicare Advantage plan. Although specific benefits vary by plan, Medicare Advantage generally works the same way in all states, including Minnesota.
All Medicare Advantage members must continue to pay the Part B premium, in addition to any premium the plan requires.
Eligibility rules for Medicare Advantage in Minnesota are the same as for other states. To enroll in Medicare Advantage, you must:
You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during the following periods:
Minnesota beneficiaries may have several choices when it comes to Medicare Advantage plans, depending on what’s available in their area and whether they meet certain eligibility requirements:
Some types of Medicare Advantage plans include:
Some Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans include prescription drug coverage. These are called Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans. With these plans, you get your Part C and Part D benefits under a single plan. A Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan can be any of the above types, except for an MSA.
If you want drug coverage with a Medicare Advantage plan, you must get it through that plan; you can’t add a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to Medicare Advantage in most cases. An exception is if you’re in an MSA or PFFS plan. MSA plans don’t ever come with drug coverage, and not all PFFS plans include it. If you’re in an MSA plan or a PFFS plan that doesn’t include drug benefits, you can enroll in a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D).
As a Medicare beneficiary, it’s important to carefully compare all of your options when choosing a Medicare Advantage plan. Plans may not be offered in every location, so if you’re searching for Medicare Advantage plans in Minnesota, always make sure to input your zip code to view plans that service your area.
It’s especially important to shop around and compare prices if you need prescription drug coverage. Each plan determines the prices for drugs in its formulary, so costs can be very different across insurance companies, even to cover the same drugs.
Remember that even if you’re happy with your current coverage, costs and benefits can change from year to year. This means it’s nearly always worth it to look around and make sure your coverage still meets your current needs.
When searching for a Medicare Advantage plan, pay attention to not just the premium cost, but other cost-sharing expenses, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Some plans offer premiums as low as $0, but you’ll still need to keep paying your Part B premium.