Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, is available to eligible beneficiaries in every state in the country, including Missouri. Some beneficiaries may choose to add other types of Medicare benefits, such as prescription drug coverage or a Medigap policy, to this insurance. Alternatively, they may choose to receive their benefits through a private Medicare Advantage plan, which is a private plan that provides Part A and Part B coverage. There are numerous options to consider when shopping for a Medicare plan in Missouri, and they are explained in greater detail below.
Original Medicare refers to both Medicare Part A and Part B together. Part A provides coverage for inpatient hospital stays, whereas Part B covers doctor’s visits/services as well as durable medical equipment. The program was created by the federal government for U.S. citizens age 65 and older and certain younger people with qualifying disabilities.
You may ask yourself how you can enroll in the Medicare program. In some cases, enrollment happens automatically for beneficiaries about to turn age 65, and who receive retirement benefits through either the Social Security Administration (SSA) or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). Younger people are also eligible for Medicare, provided they receive SSA disability benefits, or certain RRB disability benefits, for 24 consecutive months.
Beneficiaries in Missouri who aren’t automatically enrolled in Medicare can visit their local SSA office to register, or they can join online. They can also do so over the phone:
A “Welcome to Medicare” packet will arrive by mail approximately three months before coverage begins. This includes your red, white, and blue Medicare card, as well as additional information about the program.
There are private Medicare insurance plans that a beneficiary in Missouri may wish to consider before making a final decision with respect to their coverage.
Medicare Part C, also called Medicare Advantage, is a type of Medicare insurance that takes provides your Original Medicare coverage through the private insurance company, as opposed to the federal government. Please note that if you join a Medicare Advantage plan, you remain enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, as well. As such, you remain responsible for paying your Part B premium for as long as you remain involved in the Medicare program./p>
These plans must equal the coverage provided by Original Medicare (save for hospice care, which remains covered through Medicare Part A), but some may provide additional benefits, such as vision, hearing, and dental. These plans may also include prescription drug coverage. These are known as Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans (MA-PDs). With an MA-PD, all of your Medicare coverage falls under one plan.
Medicare Supplement Insurance plans, also called Medigap policies, are available to beneficiaries in Missouri who receive their benefits through Original Medicare, but would like more out-of-pocket costs covered. Most states, with the exception of Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, can offer up to ten standardized policy options, each of them marked with a letter. Plans of the same letter offer the same benefits no matter which carrier offers the plan. A Medicare Supplement provider must at least offer Plan A. If the plan would like to sell additional policies, they must next offer Plan C or Plan F before offering other plans.
Because Original Medicare does not include prescription drug coverage, it may be necessary for beneficiaries to purchase a Medicare Prescription Drug plan. A Medicare beneficiary must have Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B in order to be eligible for this type of plan. Every prescription drug plan has a formulary, which is a list of prescription medications covered by that plan, and formulary details can vary by plan.
Medicare.gov offers a list of available resources that can help educate you on health resources in Missouri. Medicare-specific resources are included below:
Learn more about how Medicare plans work in Missouri including: