Medicare Plans in North Carolina in 2022
Your Medicare options in North Carolina can vary depending on your age, where you live, and more. There are a number of Medicare plans in North Carolina that offer broader coverage than Original Medicare or can help to fill in the gaps left over by Medicare Part A and Part B.
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 North Carolina.
How To Apply for Medicare in North Carolina
If you are a North Carolina 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 North Carolina
Which Medigap plans are available to you in North Carolina will depend on a number of factors, such as your age, which insurance company you enroll with, and where you reside.
There were 510,098 North Carolina residents enrolled in Medicare Supplement Insurance in 2019. This figure represented over a quarter (25.9%) of all Medicare enrollees in the state that year.
The most popular Medigap plans in North Carolina are Plans F and G. 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 or Plan C. Plans G and N are good alternatives.
Medigap Enrollment in North Carolina
If you are interested in enrolling in Medigap insurance in North Carolina, 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.
The state of North Carolina does not authorize any special guaranteed issue rights aside from the minimal federal standards. Some examples of guaranteed issue rights include moving out of your Medicare Advantage plan’s coverage area or losing your employer coverage.
Medigap in North Carolina for Disability Enrollees
Federal law does not require Medicare Supplement Insurance companies to provide coverage to beneficiaries under the age of 65 who qualify for Medicare because of a disability. However, many states offer protections that allow these individuals to enroll in a Medigap plan, North Carolina included.
North Carolina Medigap insurers that also sell major medical health insurance must offer certain plan options to beneficiaries under the age of 65 who qualify for Medicare because of a disability.
State law requires all Medicare Supplement Insurance companies to offer these individuals access to Plan A. Additionally, if the company offers Plan C or F to other beneficiaries, they must also offer these plans to beneficiaries under the age of 65.
For disability beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020, Medigap providers must offer Plans D and G (if the company offers these plans to beneficiaries aged 65 and older). This is due to the fact that Plans C and F are no longer available for beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.
However, insurers are permitted to charge these individuals higher premiums than they would charge beneficiaries who qualify due to age rather than disability.
People who qualify for Medicare before they turn 65 can sign up for these select Medigap plans during the first six months that they are enrolled in Medicare Part B. These individuals 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 North Carolina
There were 59 Medigap insurance companies in North Carolina in 2021. State law allows insurers 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 North Carolina Medicare Supplement Insurance company offers plans with community-rated premiums in 2022. When it comes to these plans, premiums 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 North Carolina
Another coverage option for people looking for more benefits than those offered by Original Medicare is Medicare Advantage. Also known as 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.
43.9% of North Carolina Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan in 2021. In 2022, there are 145 Medicare Advantage plans available in North Carolina, and all Medicare beneficiaries in the state have access to at least one Medicare Advantage plan.
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, North Carolina Medicare enrollees who live in Buncombe County have access to 57 Medicare Advantage plans in 2022, while residents of Onslow County can only choose between 9 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 North Carolina is $15.22. 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 in North Carolina
Another thing for North Carolina Medicare beneficiaries to keep in mind is their Part D prescription drug coverage options. In 2022, there are 25 stand-alone drug plans available to North Carolina 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 North Carolina is $46.67.
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 North Carolina residents, and the lowest-cost stand-alone drug plan with a $0 deductible has a monthly premium of $57.70.
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.
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 a licensed insurance agent.