Tennessee Medicare Supplement plans are also referred to Tennessee Medigap policies. These plans help beneficiaries to pay for services that their traditional Medicare benefits don’t cover. Contrary to popular belief, your Part A & Part B benefits do not cover all of your medical expenses during retirement. There are costs that you must share in unless you purchase supplemental insurance coverage to take care of them.
Because most people would rather not be subject to these expenses, the insurance industry created Medigap plans to help people pay for things like deductibles and coinsurances. Tennessee offers the same standard 10 Medigap policies that can be found in most other states, and there are some well-known carriers in operation there as well, such as United Healthcare, Mutual of Omaha, Blue Cross and others.
Medicare Advantage Plans in Tennessee
Medicare Advantage plans first came onto the Medicare scene in the last 90’s. Under the Balanced Budget Act, Congress created these private Medicare plans as an alternative for people on Medicare. Prior to this, Medicare beneficiaries only supplemental option was Medigap.
Advantage plans pay instead of Original Medicare. You get all the same covered services, but you’ll seek those services from the plan’s network of providers. Medicare Advantage plans in Tennessee have both HMO networks and PPO networks as well as a few other, less-common types. Medicare HMO plans are generally cheaper, but you have to choose a primary care doctor who coordinates your care and must write a referral for you if you need to see a specialists. Most HMO plans also require you to use the network except in emergencies.
PPO plans allow you to see doctors both in and out of network, but you pay far less if you see doctors that participate in the plan’s network. Many Medicare Advantage plans include a Part D benefit as well. This is convenient as you only have to carry one health insurance ID card.
Medicare Advantage Premiums and Enrollment
Medicare Advantage plans in Tennessee have premiums that start as low as $0 in some counties. To be eligible to enroll, you must have both Medicare Parts A and B. You will continue to be enrolled in Part B and paying your Part B premiums while you are in the Advantage plan. You must also live in the plan’s service area.
Lastly, you can only enroll or disenroll from Medicare Advantage plans in Tennessee during certain election periods. Be aware that if you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan and then later decide to drop it, you are not guaranteed entry back into a Medigap plan. You will have to apply for a Medigap plan and answer health questions. The insurance company can turn you down if you have health conditions. For this reason, you should only join a Tennessee Medicare Advantage plan if you are certain you plan to stick with it for the long term.
Tennessee Medicare Information
There are well over a million Medicare beneficiaries, representing more than 17% of the state’s total population. About 300,000 of these folks have chosen to enroll in a Part C Advantage plan. This makes the percentage of enrollees who choose these plans in Tennessee slightly lower than the national average.
The majority of residents do enroll in some sort of drug coverage. You can enroll in a Part D pharmacy card by itself or one inside a Part C plan. Drug coverage is important even if you do not currently take any medications, because there are only certain times of the year when you can enroll in Part D. If you develop an unexpected illness, you do not want to have no coverage for an expensive medication.
Our agency has helped thousands of Tennessee Medicare beneficiaries with their plan choices. Our service is free, so don’t hesitate to contact us for help today!