Medicare Plans in Alaska
With so many options available, searching for the right Medicare coverage can feel overwhelming, even if you’ve been on Medicare for awhile. There are Medicare plans in Alaska to choose from and we’re here to help you find affordable coverage that’s right for you.
Who’s eligible for Medicare in Alaska?
Medicare is a federally sponsored health insurance program for people 65 or older and people under the age of 65 with a qualifying disability. If you are under 65, you can qualify for Medicare if you have received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for 24 months, have End Stage Renal Disease, or have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
To qualify for Medicare, you must be a US citizen or permanent resident, having lived in the US for 5 years or more. You or your spouse must also have worked at a job that paid into your Medicare coverage through Social Security deductions for at least 10 years.
We can help if you are unsure about your eligibility for Medicare or will be turning 65 in the coming months. Speak with a licensed insurance agent now by calling the number above.
What are the Medicare Plans in Alaska?
Orginial Medicare Part A & Part B
Original Medicare is the governmental part of Medicare. It’s split into two parts:
Part A (Hospital Insurance) covers inpatient services, like hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and nursing home care (as long as custodial care isn’t the only care needed).
Part B (Medical Insurance) covers outpatient healthcare needed to treat your medical condition. Services and supplies covered by Part B include: mental health care, ambulance services, and durable medical equipment (walkers, canes, blood sugar monitors, etc.) Part B also covers some preventive care, like flu shots, cardiovascular screenings, and diabetes screenings.
It’s important to know that Original Medicare doesn’t cover everything. For example, Original Medicare typically does not cover prescription drugs, hearing exams and hearing aids, long term care (i.e. care received at a nursing home), vision, or dental care. For this reason, there are Medicare Advantage plans in Alabama that are available so that you may be able to find the coverage you want.
Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)
Private insurance companies approved by Medicare offer Medicare Advantage plans (Part C). Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative way to get the coverage provided by Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). In addition, you may also get dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage with a Medicare Advantage Plan. To qualify, you must first be enrolled in Original Medicare Parts A and B. You must continue to pay your Part B premium along with any Medicare Part C premium you may be charged. If you’re looking to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses, Medicare Advantage Plans can be an option for you as some plans may have lower deductibles and co-pays than Original Medicare.
Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D)
Medicare Prescription Drug plans, often referred to as Part D, are provided and coordinated by private insurance companies contracted with Medicare. Any beneficiary who is eligible for Original Medicare, Part A and/or Part B, and is a permanent resident of the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan service area, can sign-up for Medicare Part D. Medicare Prescription Drug coverage is optional, but if you don’t enroll in Part D as soon as you’re eligible, you might pay a late-enrollment penalty if you enroll later.
You can get Medicare Part D coverage through a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan if you’re enrolled in Original Medicare, or, through a Medicare Advantage plan, by enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug benefits, also known as a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan. Different insurers offer different types of plans, so your monthly plan premium and out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs will vary from plan to plan.
Each medication covered by a Medicare Prescription Drug plan has a set cost in the form of a co-pay or coinsurance according to a tiered system known as a formulary. Every Medicare Prescription Drug plan has a formulary for your reference, showing the cost associated with each covered medication. Reviewing the formularies will allow you to pick the plan with the lowest cost for your prescriptions.
Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)
Medicare Supplement Insurance plans work to fill in the gaps in coverage left by Original Medicare (Parts A and B), in order to provide more complete coverage. Medigap plans can help reduce your out-of-pocket costs by paying for things that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like coinsurance, copays, and deductibles.
When Can I Enroll In A Plan?
Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans
Your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is your first chance to enroll in Medicare plans in Alaska. This IEP starts three months before your 65th birth month and continues for three months after your birth month. This means that you have seven months total to complete your enrollment.
Once your IEP ends, you can make changes to your Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug plans during the Annual Election Period (AEP). The AEP occurs from October 15th to December 7th every year.
Medicare Initial Enrollment Period
7-Month Initial Enrollment Period | Begins 3 months before the month you turn 65
*Signing up for Parts A and B during months 5,6, and 7 may result in delayed coverage.
KEY FACT: The General Enrollment Period provides you an opportunity to enroll in Original Medicare if you missed your IEP. This period occurs every year from January 1st to March 31st. Then, you’ll have an opportunity to select a Medicare Advantage Plan from April 1st through June 30th.
Additional Medicare Resources in Alaska
The State Health Insurance Information Program of Alaska (SHIP) is a free service that provides unbiased, one-on-one insurance counseling and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers.
The Medicare Savings Program in Alaska is available to Medicare beneficiaries with low income and assets to help pay for medical expenses, like premiums and deductibles.
Sources: Medicare.gov; dhss.alaska.gov