Medicare Plans in New Jersey in 2022
Signing up for Medicare can be confusing, especially when taking into account all of the variables that can impact your enrollment. Plan availability depends on so many factors, one of the most important being where you live.
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 New Jersey.
How To Apply for Medicare in New Jersey
If you are a New Jersey 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 once you become eligible for Medicare.
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 to 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 Insurance Plans in New Jersey
Which Medigap plans are available to you in New Jersey will depend on a number of factors, such as which insurance company you enroll with and where you reside.
There were 490,827 New Jersey residents enrolled in Medicare Supplement Insurance in 2019. This figure represented 30.6% of all Medicare enrollees in the state that year.
The most popular Medigap plans in New Jersey include Plans C, 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 C or Plan F. Plans G and N are good alternatives.
Medigap Enrollment in New Jersey
If you are interested in enrolling in Medigap insurance in New Jersey, 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 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 New Jersey include moving out of your Medicare Advantage plan’s coverage area, a change in retiree benefits, and losing your employer coverage.
Some good news is that when you first enroll in a Medigap plan in New Jersey, you have a 30 day “free-look” period that allows you to return your policy and get a full refund.
You should also be aware that Medigap insurers in New Jersey can implement pre-existing condition waiting periods. This means that your insurance company can delay coverage for your condition for up to six months when you first enroll in your Medigap plan. Having some form of creditable coverage prior to your Medigap enrollment can reduce these waiting periods.
Medigap in New Jersey for Disability Enrollees
New Jersey beneficiaries who qualify for Medicare because of a disability are guaranteed the right to enroll in Medicare Supplement Insurance if they would like. While not mandated under federal Medigap regulations, many states choose to offer these individuals Medigap protections, the state of New Jersey included.
Additionally, New Jersey is one of the few states that ensures that Medigap enrollees under the age of 65 don’t pay more for their premiums than beneficiaries aged 65 and older do. Medigap enrollment regulations are divided into two categories: beneficiaries between the ages of 50 and 64 and beneficiaries under the age of 50.
When it comes to beneficiaries between the ages of 50 and 64, all insurance companies that sell Medigap coverage in New Jersey must offer these individuals the option to enroll in Plan D. Additionally, they cannot charge them more than what they would charge beneficiaries aged 65 and older.
In the past, New Jersey Medigap insurance providers had to offer disability enrollees Plan C, but a 2019 law changed the requirement to Plan D. This is because Medicare beneficiaries who became newly eligible for coverage on or after January 1, 2020 can no longer enroll in Plan C.
And when it comes to beneficiaries under 50, one insurer offers these individuals Plan D (formerly Plan C) coverage with the same premium rate that they offer to beneficiaries aged 65 and older.
People who qualify for Medicare before they turn 65 can sign up for Medigap insurance during the first six months that they are enrolled in Medicare Part B. If they don’t enroll during this time and try to apply for a policy after those six months have passed, insurance companies reserve the right to turn these individuals down for coverage or charge them higher rates based on their health.
If you are a Medicare enrollee under the age of 65, you will have another Medigap OEP during the six months following your 65th birthday. When this happens, you will be allowed to sign up for any Medigap plan offered in your area without having to undergo medical underwriting.
Medigap Premiums in New Jersey
In 2021, there were 28 companies that offer Medicare Supplement Insurance in New Jersey. State law allows Medigap providers to decide how they set monthly premiums, and there are three ways that they can do so.
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 may offer issue-age rated plans. In this case, premiums are determined by the age you were when you enrolled in the policy.
Finally, the least common type of premium rating is no age, or community rated. These plans’ rates aren’t based on the age of beneficiaries, so prices 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 New Jersey
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 third (34.7%) of New Jersey Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan in 2021. In 2022, there are 84 Medicare Advantage plans available in New Jersey, and all Medicare beneficiaries in the state have access to at least one Medicare Advantage plan.
However, which types of Medicare Advantage plans you have available to you depends on where exactly you reside, as plan availability varies from county to county. For example, New Jersey Medicare enrollees who live in Monmouth County and Union County have access to 54 Medicare Advantage plans in 2022, while residents of Cape May County can only choose between 32 plans.
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 in New Jersey is $17.41. Plus, 100% of the state’s 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 Prescription Drug Coverage in New Jersey
Another thing for New Jersey Medicare beneficiaries to keep in mind is their Part D prescription drug coverage options. In 2022, there are 23 stand-alone prescription drug plans available to New Jersey 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 New Jersey is $48.02.
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 no-deductible plans available to New Jersey residents, and the lowest-cost stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan with a $0 deductible has a monthly premium of $69.00.
It is typically a good idea to enroll in Medicare 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.
You can get prescription drug coverage through some Medicare Advantage plans, 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 understand the ins and outs of Medicare coverage when choosing a plan. Here at Medicare Plans Direct, we help seniors through the process of enrolling in Medicare. Reach out today for a free consultation with one of our experienced insurance agents here.