As of 2012, New Mexico Medicare beneficiaries numbered nearly 300,000 people. New Mexico residents on Medicare have options for both Medicare supplements and Medicare Advantage plans. From Albuquerque to Roswell and everywhere in between, Medicare beneficiaries can find suitable Medicare coverage in New Mexico.
The best time to enroll in a Medicare supplement in New Mexico is within 6 months of your Medicare Part B effective date, which for the majority of people coincides with the month during which they turn 65. Applying during this time means you get to skip the health questions on the application, and cannot be turned down by the insurance carrier for pre-existing conditions if you are at least age 65.
New Mexico Medicare Supplements
Residents of New Mexico have the same Medicare supplement options as people in other states. You can see the available plans on this Medigap chart. For many years New Mexico Medicare supplement Plan F has been a best seller. However, in recent years Plan G in New Mexico has become quite popular. This is because Plan G offers identical benefits except that you will be responsible to pay the once annual Part B deductible.
We often find that premiums for Plan G are much lower and so you can actually come out ahead financially with a New Mexico Medicare Supplement Plan G. For more on ways to save with Medigap Plan G, see this post.
New Mexico Medicare Advantage
Medicare Advantage plans are private health plans that pay instead of Medicare. If you enroll in a New Mexico Medicare Advantage plan, you will agree to use that plan’s network of doctors. Medicare Advantage plans often have lower premiums than Medigap plans, but there are more copays for healthcare services as you go along. For example, you might pay $10 to see your primary care doctor, and $45 or $50 to see a specialist. There will also be cost-sharing for most other health services, like labwork, imaging, hospital stays, surgeries, durable medical equipment, etc.
Medicare Advantage plans are easy to obtain because they have only one health question. You can enroll in New Mexico Medicare Advantage plan during your initial enrollment period when you first get Medicare Parts A and B. You must live in the plan’s service area. If you miss your initial enrollment period, you can also join or leave a Medicare Advantage plan once a year during the Annual Election Period for Medicare Advantage plans in the fall.
Rules for People Under Age 65 on Medicare Disability
To qualify for a Medicare supplement in New Mexico when you are under age 65, you must meet certain requirements. First, you need to apply for the supplement within 6 months of the effective date for your Medicare Part B. If you have been awarded retroactive eligibility for Social Security disability income, then you must apply within 6 months of notice of your receipt of your notice of eligibility.
Unfortunately, Medigap plans for people under 65 are often double or triple the monthly rate that someone age 65 would pay. They also tend to take big rate increases from year to year because people on Medicare due to disability may naturally have more claims. The carriers then have to raise the rates on those policies to keep up with the cost of those claims. For this reason, we usually find that New Mexico Medicare Advantage plans are one of the best options for people under 65. These plans do not have rates based on age, and therefore do not usually see large rate increases the way the under-65 Medigap plans do.
Medigap carriers in New Mexico do not have to offer coverage to people with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) if they are under age 65.
New Mexico Medicare Choices
Medicare beneficiaries in New Mexico have a choice of insurance carriers. In fact, for Part D drug plans, there are over 40 choices. Our agency can help you compare the carriers available to find the best pricing. You might also be surprised at some of the rate trend statistics we can provide. Before buying the cheapest carrier -let us help you make sure that their history of rate increases is stable so you don’t get smacked with a monster rate increase next year.