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Medicare Plans in Minnesota in 2022

Minnesota residents who are nearing Medicare age have a number of things to consider when it comes to their Medicare options. It is especially important to be aware of state-specific policies because in Minnesota, Medigap plans are regulated by the state, not the federal government

This means that Medicare Supplement Insurance in Minnesota is quite different than in other states. Just when you thought that Medicare couldn’t get any more complicated… 

Being informed about the ins and outs of Medicare in your state is one of the best ways to ensure that you get the coverage that’s right for you. Read on to learn about the Minnesota state-specific Medigap details, along with the Medicare Advantage and Part D options in your state. 

How To Apply for Medicare in Minnesota

Minnesota residents who are only interested in enrolling in Original Medicare can do so through their local Social Security office. You can sign up in-person, online, or over the phone as early as three months before your 65th birthday.  

But enrolling in Medicare Advantage, a Medigap plan, or Part D drug coverage is best done with the help of a licensed insurance agent who can walk you through the process and help you find the best plan for you. That’s where we come in. 

Reach out to a team member at Medicare Plans Direct to have all your Medicare-related questions addressed.

Medicare Supplement Plans in Minnesota

In 2019, 236,641 Minnesota residents were enrolled in Medicare Supplement Insurance, which represented 23% of all Medicare enrollees in the state that year. 

The way that Medigap plans are regulated in Minnesota is unique to the state. Unlike in 47 of the other states, Minnesota Medigap plans are not federally regulated. Therefore, you can’t rely on the general Medicare Supplement guidelines when exploring your Medigap coverage options. 

Minnesota Medigap plans are structured as follows. First off, there is a basic plan that includes the basic benefits along with some other areas of coverage:

  • Basic Benefits: Each plan includes the Basic Benefits that are also included in all other standardized Medicare Supplement plans
  • Inpatient hospital care: Part A coinsurance
  • Medical costs: Part B coinsurance (generally 20% of the Medicare-approved amount)
  • Blood: your first 3 pints of blood for a medical procedure each year
  • Part A hospice and respite care cost sharing
  • Parts A and B home health services and supplies cost sharing
  • Part A Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) coinsurance (provides 100 days of SNF care)
  • Foreign travel emergency (80%)
  • Outpatient mental health (50%)
  • Medicare-covered preventive care
  • Physical therapy (20%)
  • State-mandated benefits (diabetic equipment and supplies, routine cancer screening, reconstructive surgery, and immunizations)

You can also elect to enroll in the basic plan and purchase optional riders, which are as follows:

  • Non-Medicare Preventive Care 
  • Part A Deductible
  • Part B Excess Charges
  • Part B Deductible* 

Or you can choose the extended basic plan, which offers the following benefits:

  • Basic benefits (as listed above)
  • Part A deductible
  • Part A Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) coinsurance (provides 120 days of SNF care)
  • Part B deductible*
  • Part B excess charges (80%)**
  • Foreign travel emergency (80%)**
  • Coverage while in a foreign country (80%)**
  • Outpatient mental health (50%)
  • Medicare-covered preventive care
  • Physical therapy (20%)
  • State-mandated benefits (diabetic equipment and supplies, routine cancer screening, reconstructive surgery, and immunizations)

There are also other cost-sharing, mandatory copayment, and high-deductible plans that are similar to some of the federally regulated Medigap plans found in other states:

  • Supplement Plan with 50% coverage (Plan K)
  • Supplement Plan with 75% coverage (Plan L)
  • Supplement Plan with 50% Part A deductible coverage (Plan M)
  • Supplement Plan with $20 and $50 copayments (Plan N)
  • Supplement Plan with high deductible coverage* (High Deductible Plan F)

Finally, just as in other states, you also have the option to enroll in a Medicare SELECT plan in certain parts of Minnesota

*Coverage of the Part B deductible, as well as the Minnesota version of High Deductible Plan F, will no longer be available to people who are new to Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. However, if you were eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020 but not yet enrolled, you may be able to get this benefit.

**The plan pays 100% after you spend $1,000 in out-of-pocket costs in a calendar year.

Medigap Premiums in Minnesota

What your Medigap premium will cost you in Minnesota depends on a number of factors. Which plan you choose, whether you enroll in a cost sharing plan, and if you sign up for a high-deductible plan will all impact what you pay per month for your Medigap coverage. 

However, Minnesota law prohibits insurance companies from basing premiums off of a beneficiary’s age. Premiums can only vary based on tobacco use and where the enrollee resides

Another unique element of Medigap coverage in Minnesota is that insurance companies cannot charge beneficiaries a higher monthly premium for enrolling before the age of 65. This applies to Medicare enrollees who qualify for coverage because of a disability and is not the case in most other states. 

Minnesota offers quite a few protections for enrollees when it comes to controlling Medigap premiums. However, we always recommend consulting with a Medicare expert before deciding on a Medicare Supplement plan to ensure that you find the best policy for you.  

Medigap Enrollment in Minnesota

The best time to enroll in Medicare Supplement Insurance in Minnesota is usually during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period (OEP).

Your OEP begins when you first become eligible for Medicare and enroll in 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

Beneficiaries under the age of 65 who qualify for Medicare because of a disability can also enroll in Medigap during their 6 month Medigap OEP. These individuals will have another OEP during the 6 months following their 65th birthday.

If you choose to enroll in a Medigap plan outside of your OEP, insurance companies can’t impose pre-existing condition waiting periods unless you received a diagnosis or treatment for your condition during the 90 days prior to enrolling in the policy. This is another protection that you won’t find in many other states.

Medicare Advantage Plans in Minnesota

Medicare Advantage is a good option for people looking for more benefits than those offered by Original Medicare or Medigap plans. Also known as Medicare Part C, these plans provide the coverage that you get under Original Medicare. They can also include additional benefits, such as drug coverage, hearing coverage, vision coverage, dental coverage, and more

Over half (51.8%) of Minnesota beneficiaries were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan in 2021, making it a very popular coverage option in the state. 

There are 101 Medicare Advantage plans available in Minnesota in 2022. 100% of Medicare beneficiaries in the state have access to at least one Medicare Advantage plan in 2022. 

You should be aware that which Medicare Advantage plans you can enroll in depends on where exactly you reside, as plan availability varies from county to county.

For example, there are only 17 plans available in smaller counties like Cottonwood and Jackson. However, if you reside in Anoka, Dakota, or Ramsey, you can choose between 55 plans. 

You should also be aware that 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 Minnesota enrollees is $76.92. Some good news is that all Medicare beneficiaries in the state have access to at least one plan with a $0 monthly premium. 

If you think that Medicare Advantage may be a good coverage option for you, we recommend you consult with 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 to us today to receive free Medicare advice.

Medicare Cost Plans in Minnesota

Though they are certainly not the most popular type of Medicare coverage, Medicare Cost plans are still available in certain counties in Minnesota. Cost plans are no longer available in the majority of states, but in 2018, ⅔ of the nation’s Cost plan enrollees were Minnesota residents

Medicare Cost plans complement your Original Medicare coverage and provide you with additional benefits on top of it. Cost plans tend to have lower monthly premiums than Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare Part D in Minnesota

Another thing for Minnesota 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 Minnesota Medicare enrollees

Your Part D premium depends on a number of factors, such as where you live and which insurance company you purchase your plan through. In 2022, the average Part D premium in Minnesota costs $48.57

Plans with $0 deductibles do exist, though you will usually have to pay a higher monthly premium should you choose to enroll in one. In 2022, there are four plans with a $0 deductible available to Minnesota beneficiaries. The lowest cost stand-alone prescription drug plan with a $0 deductible has a monthly premium of $68.90

You will probably want to enroll in prescription drug coverage when you are first eligible for Medicare. Even if you aren’t taking prescription medications when you turn 65, you will likely need drug coverage in the future. If you don’t sign up for Medicare Part D when you are first eligible and don’t have some other form of creditable drug coverage, you could face late enrollment penalty fees down the line. 

You can get coverage for your prescription drugs through some Medicare Advantage plans, but if you are enrolled in Original Medicare and/or a Medigap plan, you will need a stand-alone drug plan to cover your prescription medication costs. 

As you can see, where you live will have a significant impact on your Medicare coverage options. Understanding the coverage that’s available to you isn’t easy, but that’s what we’re here for. Our expertise can help you to make the best possible Medicare decisions, so reach out today for a free consultation.

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