Retirement is the beginning of a beautiful and relaxing part of life. You should be able to enjoy your days in peace, free from the burden of worries about any health problems that may arise.
Arizona Medicare is a program for citizens who are 65 or older, and it gives them an opportunity to have health insurance after their retirement. This federally based program is also applicable to citizens of Arizona that are under the age of 65 but face physical disabilities.
What are Medicare Advantage Plans?
Medicare Advantage Plans are a series of healthcare plans. Their purpose is to ensure accessible and cost effective healthcare services to eligible Medicare beneficiaries. Advantage Plans are the result of a partnership between Medicare and private insurance companies. The purpose is to give you the best health care.
Medicare services consist of parts A, B, C, and D. Part A is set up to cover hospitalization and related services, while Part B covers the medical care outside the hospital setting. Part C is an alternative to traditional Medicare coverage, and Part D covers the prescription drugs.
Medicare Part C plans are in fact Medicare Advantage plans. These plans are managed by Medicare Advantage providers, which are approved as health care insurance organizations. MA plans cover both Part A and Part B plan services, and some of these services may also include prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Part D is an optional prescription drug plan which can be purchased only by someone who already has Medicare Part A or Part B insurance. This also applies to participants who have the Part C plan. These participants can only purchase the Part D plan if their Part C plan covers both Part A and Part B services.
Types of Medicare Advantage Plans available in Arizona
HMO – Health Maintenance Organization
HMO consists of hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare providers. HMO offers health care services to Medicare beneficiaries and in return receives a monthly financial coverage by Medicare. HMO will provide you with all the health care that you need. However, in case you need to visit a specialist, you will have to obtain a referral from a primary care physician.
PPO – Preferred Provider Organization
PPO is a plan which allows you to use healthcare services provided by various PPO network providers, hospitals, and doctors. If you want to use health care services outside the network, you will have to pay an additional cost. With this plan you won’t need a referral from a primary care physician in case you want to visit a specialist.
PFFS – Private Fee For Service
With the PFFS insurance plan you can choose to visit any hospital or doctor. This insurance plan accepts Medicare beneficiaries but it sets its own price for the services you get. In some cases you may face higher prices for Medicare covered benefits. However, you may also enjoy some extra benefits which are not covered by the Original Medicare plan.
MSA – Medicare Savings Account
The first part of the MSA plan is a special type of account which can only be used for healthcare expenses. This means that each year, Medicare will deposit a previously agreed amount of money to your account. If the money is not spent until the end of the year, the deposit stays in your account.
The second part of the MSA health plan is a high deductible plan. This means that Medicare will pay the premium and make a deposit in your MSA plan. You can use the money from the MSA to pay for health care services until the deductible for the given year is met.
SNP – Special Needs Plan
An SNP health plan is a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) type plan. It is designed for Medicare services and healthcare for people who need special health care provider expertise.
The Special Needs plan is only available to people who are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare. It is also available to people residing in long-term health care facilities, as well as to people suffering from chronic or disabling conditions.
Insurance and Medicare supplements in Phoenix AZ
Thanks to Medicare supplemental insurance, thousands of senior citizens from Arizona are able to enjoy a pleasant retirement. The last thing they will need worry about are the unexpected costs associated with medical care.
The Arizona Medicare supplement insurance policy, also referred to as Medigap, covers medical costs by filling the gaps in the original policies. These supplemental policies allow beneficiaries to add coverage to their Part A and Part B plans.
Medicare supplements cover extra expenses such as coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles. You can also add hospice or additional hospital coverage to your supplement insurance policy.
Arizona Medicare Supplement plans can only be obtained together with the Original Medicare. If you want to have separate health coverage instead of the Original Medicare plan, you should replace Part A and Part B plans with a Medicare Advantage plan.
There are 10 federally approved Medicare supplemental insurance policies in Arizona
Arizona medical supplemental plans are labeled with the letters A to N, excluding E, H, I, and J. Plan A is the most basic plan and it includes coinsurance for preventive care. Plan F allows you to get the most comprehensive coverage including some overseas travel.
Each insurance company must offer similar benefits, but the cost may vary depending on the specific insurance company. In general, the coverage excludes additional care such as dental, vision, and hearing care.
You can enroll in an Arizona Medicare Supplement plan during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This period begins when you meet two conditions: your enrollment in the Medicare Part B plan and a minimum age of 65. The Medigap Open enrollment period lasts for half a year.
During the Medigap open enrollment period, insurance companies are not allowed to charge higher premiums. Insurance companies also can’t deny coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions.
You can enroll in a Medigap plan after the Open Enrollment Period, but your pre-existing medical conditions may influence the cost of the premium. Before you purchase a Medigap package you should research the company’s policies on pre-existing medical conditions.