Medicare Plans in Iowa in 2022
As you near your Medicare enrollment age, it is important for you to understand your coverage options. This blog post will explore what Medicare plans are available in Iowa in 2022 and what they entail.
Being aware of your state-specific Medicare rights can help you to find the best plan options possible. That’s why it’s so important to have a good understanding of the nuances of Medicare in your state. Read on to learn more about your Medigap, Medicare Advantage, and Part D options in Iowa.
How To Apply for Medicare in Iowa
If you are an Iowa resident who is only interested in enrolling in Original Medicare, you can do so through your local Social Security office. You can sign up in-person, online, or over the phone as early as three months before your 65th birthday.
However, if you want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Part D drug coverage, we recommend you speak with a licensed insurance agent. They can walk you through the process and help you to find the right plan for you.
Reach out to a team member here at Medicare Plans Direct today to have all of your Medicare-related questions answered.
Medicare Supplement Plans in Iowa
Which Medigap plans are available to you in Iowa will depend on a number of factors, such as which insurance company you enroll with, where you reside, and why you qualify for Medicare.
There were 307,575 Iowa residents enrolled in Medicare Supplement Insurance in 2019. This figure represented about half of all Medicare enrollees in the state that year, a significantly higher percentage than the national ratio of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medigap (24%).
The most popular Medigap plans in Iowa include Plans F, G, and N. These plans offer some of the most comprehensive coverage around.
However, beneficiaries who first became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020 will no longer be allowed to enroll in Plan F. Plans G and N are good alternatives.
Medigap Enrollment in Iowa
If you are interested in enrolling in Medigap insurance in Iowa, the best time to do so is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period (OEP).
This occurs when you first become eligible for Medicare and enroll in Medicare Part B, and it lasts for 6 months. During this time, you can enroll in any Medigap plan offered in your area regardless of your health history.
Unless you qualify for a guaranteed issue right, you may have to undergo medical underwriting if you want to sign up for a Medigap plan after your OEP finalizes. In this case, insurance companies reserve the right to deny you coverage and/or charge you higher rates.
Examples of guaranteed issue rights in Iowa include moving out of your Medicare Advantage plan’s coverage area, a change in retiree benefits, and losing your employer coverage.
Medigap in Iowa for Disability Enrollees
Beneficiaries under the age of 65 who qualify for Medicare because of a disability are not granted any special Medigap protections in Iowa. They can try to enroll in Medicare Supplement Insurance during the first six months that they become eligible for Medicare and enroll in Part B, though insurance companies aren’t obligated to sell them coverage, and in the case that they do, can charge them significantly higher premiums.
However, the Iowa Comprehensive Health Association (HIPIOWA) offers these individuals the option to enroll in the state’s high-risk health insurance pool.
Many high-risk pools disappeared after the Affordable Care Act eliminated medical underwriting in the private insurance market. Iowa, along with a handful of other states, has maintained their pool to provide coverage options to Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for the program because of a disability.
People who enroll in Medicare before they turn 65 will have another OEP during the six months following their 65th birthday. When this happens, they are allowed to sign up for any Medigap plan offered in their area without having to undergo medical underwriting.
Medigap Premiums in Iowa
In 2021, there were 55 insurance companies that offered Medicare Supplement Insurance in Iowa. State law allows each one to decide how they set monthly premiums, and almost all of them offer attained-age rated policies.
With attained-age rated policies, your monthly premium will likely increase as you get older, which is important to consider when choosing a Medigap plan.
Two companies offered issue-age rated plans in 2021. In this case, premiums are determined by the age you were when you enrolled in the policy.
Finally, one company offered plans with rates that aren’t based on a beneficiary’s age. These are also referred to as community-rated plans. When it comes to these premiums, rates are typically the same for everyone in your area.
Though Medigap plans’ benefits are federally standardized, premium rates can vary significantly between insurance companies. For that reason, we always recommend consulting with an experienced insurance agent before deciding on a Medicare Supplement policy to ensure that you are getting the best value plan for you.
Medicare Advantage Plans in Iowa
Another coverage option for people looking for more benefits than those offered by Original Medicare is Medicare Advantage. Also known as Medicare Part C, these plans provide the coverage that you get under Original Medicare on top of additional benefits, which can include drug coverage, hearing coverage, vision coverage, dental coverage, and more.
A little over a quarter (27.2%) of Iowa Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan in 2021. There are 61 Medicare Advantage plans available in Iowa in 2022. This is up from 55 plans in 2021.
97% of Medicare beneficiaries in Iowa have access to at least one Medicare Advantage plan in 2022. However, which Medicare Advantage plans you have available to you depends on where exactly you reside, as plan availability varies from county to county.
For example, Medicare enrollees who live in Scott County can choose between 36 plans in 2022, while residents of smaller counties have significantly fewer options. There are only four plans available in Dubuque County.
When it comes to monthly premiums, what you pay for your Medicare Advantage plan depends on where you live, the plan that you choose, and more. In 2022, the average Part C monthly premium for Iowa Medicare beneficiaries is $8.99. Plus, 97% of Iowa Medicare enrollees have access to at least one plan with a $0 monthly premium.
Deciding which is the right Medicare Advantage plan for you is best done with the help of an experienced insurance agent. Here at Medicare Plans Direct we help you make the best Medicare choices possible at no extra cost to you. Reach out today to receive free Medicare advice.
Medicare Part D in Iowa
Another thing for Iowa Medicare beneficiaries to keep in mind is their Part D prescription drug coverage options. In 2022, there are 22 stand-alone drug plans available to Iowa Medicare enrollees.
How much you will have to pay for your Part D premium depends on where you live and which insurance company you purchase your plan through. In 2022, the average Part D premium in Iowa is $48.47.
You can also find drug plans with $0 deductibles, though insurance companies usually charge higher monthly premiums for these plans. In 2022, there are four $0 deductible plans available to Iowa residents, and the lowest-cost stand-alone drug plan with a $0 deductible has a monthly premium of $68.90.
It is typically a good idea to enroll in prescription drug coverage when you are first eligible if you foresee it being necessary in the future. If you don’t sign up for Medicare Part D when you first qualify and don’t have some other form of creditable drug coverage, you could face late enrollment penalty fees down the line.
Some Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage, but if you are enrolled in Original Medicare and/or a Medigap policy, you will need a stand-alone drug plan to cover your prescription medication costs.
As you can see, it is important to make well-informed decisions when choosing your Medicare coverage. Here at Medicare Plans Direct, we help seniors navigate their Medicare enrollment journeys. Reach out today for a free consultation with a licensed insurance agent.