Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people over 65 and those with specific disabilities. There are many different coverage options to choose from, depending on your needs. What’s more, Medicare in Arkansas can be very affordable!
In this blog post, we will discuss Medicare coverage options in Arkansas and some popular hospitals and Medicare plans that you might want to consider.
What type of Medicare coverage is available?
Medicare in Arkansas will cover hospitalization, medical expenses, and other health care services. There are several different types of Medicare coverage available to choose from.
This is the standard Medicare program that everyone pays into throughout their working lives, and it consists of Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
If you have worked for ten years or forty quarters, you are eligible to receive Medicare Part A for free. If you have not paid into Medicare throughout your working life, you’ll need to pay a premium for Medicare Part A.
Medicare Part A is considered your “hospital insurance.” It covers inpatient care, hospice care, and limited home health services.
Medicare Part B does come at a monthly premium of $148.50 in 2021, and this premium can increase if you have a high income.
Medicare Part B is considered your “medical insurance.” It covers medical expenses like doctor visits, outpatient services (like lab work), preventative benefits (including physicals), and durable medical equipment.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage is also called Medicare Part C. If the particular Advantage plan offers prescription drug coverage, it is also referred to as a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan or MAPD.
Medicare Advantage plans are plans offered by private companies that contract with Medicare. It combines Medicare parts A and B and provides additional benefits such as dental coverage or vision services at no extra cost. If you choose to go this route, your primary care physician will be the one to coordinate all of your healthcare needs.
Medicare Supplement plans or Medigap are available to supplement your Original Medicare coverage. Ten different Medicare supplements can help you pay out-of-pocket costs like copays and coinsurance when you’re in the hospital or receiving medical services from a doctor.
Unlike Medicare Advantage plans, Medigap plans do not combine your Original Medicare, Parts A and B, into one plan, and a Medigap plan is a separate policy. If enrolled in a Medigap plan, individuals will also need to purchase a separate Dental, Vision, and Hearing policy and prescription drug coverage (also known as Medicare Part D).
Which Medicare plans are available in Arkansas?
Original Medicare is available across the United States. However, specific MAPD, Medigap, DVH, and Part D plans are available depending on where you live. Let’s discuss your options in Arkansas.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage plans are an excellent choice for residents of Arkansas. They are widely accepted throughout the state, and each county has many options to choose from.
The current list of carriers and plans is too long for a single post. There are approximately 50 insurance carriers that offer Medicare Advantage plans in Arkansas, and there are 20-40 plans offered in each county.
Some of the most popular MAPD plans are as follows:
- Aetna Medicare Premier (HMO)
- AllWell Medicare Boost (PPO)
- Cigna Preferred Medicare (HMO)
- Humana Choice (PPO)
- AARP Medicare Advantage Choice (PPO)
Thirty-one carriers are offering Medigap plans to Arkansas residents in 2021. These carriers include:
- American Republic
- American Retirement Life
- Americo Live
- Assured Life
- Bankers Fidelity
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arkansas
- Central States
- Colonial Penn
- Equitable Life
- Gerber Life
- Globe Life
- GPM Health and Life
- Manhattan Life
- Old Surety
- Omaha Insurance Company
- Philadelphia American
- Physicians Mutual
- QualChoice Life
- Reserve National
- Standard Life
- State Farm
- USA Life Insurance
- United American
- United Commercial Travelers
- USAA Life
These carriers will all offer the ten standardized plans of Medigap. Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N are the most popular and comprehensive of the ten plans.
Dental, Vision, and Hearing Plans
DVH plans are available in all of the United States, and there are multiple carriers and coverage levels. If you currently have a dentist, optometrist, and audiologist, you may want to determine which carriers they accept payment from.
Some popular DVH carriers are:
- Manhattan Life
- Mutual of Omaha
- Nat Gen
Part D Prescription Drug Plans
If individuals choose not to enroll in an MAPD plan, they will need to purchase a separate Part D prescription drug plan.
There are several carriers for these plans. Individuals will need to understand how their current medications are covered under each plan to find the one with the most value.
The current Part D carriers in Arkansas are:
- Clear Spring Health
- Express Scripts
- Indy Health
- Mutual of Omaha
Each of these carriers offers several plans to choose from and will vary by county.
Which hospitals in Arkansas accept Medicare assignment?
There are 102 hospitals in Arkansas. Of course, you will likely want to seek care from the one closest to you, but the following six rank highest in the care provided.
- Washington Regional Medical Center: Fayetteville, ARK
- Baptist Health Medical Center: Little Rock, AR
- UAMS Medical Center: Little Rock, AR
- Arkansas Heart Hospital: Little Rock, AR
- Arkansas Surgical Hospital: North Little Rock, AR
- Baxter Regional Medical Center: Mountain Home, AR
If you are a resident in Arkansas and looking for ways to decrease your medical costs, call us. We’d be happy to review your needs and compare them to the available plans.