Medicare Plans in Nebraska 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 Nebraska in 2022 and what they entail.
Being aware of your state’s rules and regulations can help you to find the best Medicare 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 Nebraska.
How To Apply for Medicare in Nebraska
If you are a Nebraska 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 contacting a licensed insurance agent. They can walk you through the process and help you find the right plan for you.
Reach out to an experienced insurance agent here at Medicare Plans Direct today to have all of your Medicare-related questions answered.
Medicare Supplement Plans in Nebraska
Which Medigap plans are available to you in Nebraska 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 181,473 Nebraska residents enrolled in Medicare Supplement Insurance plans in 2019. This figure represented over half (52.8%) of all Medicare enrollees in the state that year, a significantly higher percentage than the national ratio of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medigap, which sits at a little under a quarter (24%).
The most popular Medigap plan in Nebraska as of 2018 was Plan F, with 60% of the state’s Medigap enrollees choosing this plan.
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 Nebraska
If you are interested in enrolling in Medigap insurance in Nebraska, 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 Nebraska include moving out of your Medicare Advantage plan’s coverage area, a change in retiree benefits, and losing your employer coverage.
Medigap in Nebraska 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 Nebraska. 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 Nebraska Comprehensive Health Insurance Pool (NECHIP) 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. Nebraska, 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.
But enrollment in the program is quite uncommon, as most Nebraska Medicare beneficiaries under the age of 65 get supplemental coverage through Medicaid or the few Medigap insurance companies that choose to offer these individuals coverage.
The good news is that 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 Nebraska
In 2021, there were 49 insurance companies that offer Medicare Supplement Insurance in Nebraska. State law allows each one to decide how they set monthly premiums, and the majority 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.
Some companies offer issue-age rated plans. In this case, premiums are determined by the age you were when you enrolled in the policy.
Finally, one company offers 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 a knowledgeable 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 Nebraska
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.
98% of Medicare beneficiaries in Nebraska 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 Sarpy County can choose between 31 plans in 2022, while residents of smaller counties have significantly fewer options. There are only two plans available in Morrill and Sheridan. There are even some Nebraska counties where no Medicare Advantage plans are offered.
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 Nebraska Medicare beneficiaries is $13.83, and 96% of Nebraska 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 Nebraska
Another thing for Nebraska 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 Nebraska Medicare enrollees.
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 Nebraska 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 coverage for prescription drugs, 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.