Medicare Plans in Virginia in 2022
As you near your Medicare enrollment age, it is important for you to know your coverage options. This blog post will explore what Medicare plans are available in Virginia 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 Medicare Part D options in Virginia.
How To Apply for Medicare in Virginia
If you are a Virginia 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 Virginia
Which Medigap plans are available to you in Virginia will depend on a number of factors, such as which insurance company you enroll with and where you reside.
The most popular Medigap plans in Virginia include 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. Plans G and N are good alternatives.
Medigap Enrollment in Virginia
If you are interested in enrolling in Medigap insurance in Virginia, 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.
Some examples of guaranteed issue rights in Virginia include moving out of your Medicare Advantage plan’s coverage area, a change in retiree benefits, and losing your employer coverage.
You should also be aware that Medigap insurers in Virginia can implement pre-existing condition waiting periods. These waiting periods apply to conditions for which you receive medical advice or treatment (or were recommended treatment) during the six months immediately before your Medigap policy is issued.
This means that your insurance company can delay coverage for the condition in question for up to six months when you first enroll in your Medigap plan. However, having prior creditable coverage during the six months leading up to your Medigap enrollment can shorten these waiting periods.
Medigap in Virginia for Disability Enrollees
Virginia Medigap insurers must offer beneficiaries under the age of 65 who qualify for Medicare because of a disability the option to enroll in at least one of the plans that the company offers. This is not mandated under federal Medigap regulations, but the state enacted a law in 2020 to guarantee this protection.
Virginia Medicare beneficiaries under the age of 65 have guaranteed issue access to Medigap enrollment during their Medigap OEP. This occurs during the first six months that someone is eligible for Medicare and are enrolled in Part B. However, insurers can charge them significantly higher premiums than they would charge beneficiaries aged 65 and older.
For example, the Medicare Medigap plan finder tool states that a 65-year-old female in Richmond would be charged a monthly premium of between $65 and $212 for Plan A, while a 60-year-old female in the same ZIP Code could face rates of up to almost $600 for the same plan.
It is important to note that this Medigap protection does not apply to disability beneficiaries who qualify because they suffer from End-Stage Renal Disease. But these individuals do have the option to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan if they want broader coverage than they would get from Original Medicare alone.
People who enroll in Medicare before they turn 65 will have an 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 and will have access to 65+ premium rates.
Medigap Premiums in Virginia
Medigap premiums in Virginia can be influenced by a number of factors. Which plan you choose, when you enroll, and the company you enroll with can all impact how much you pay for your Medicare Supplement Insurance monthly premium.
Most Virginia Medigap insurance companies use an attained-age rating system when it comes to determining monthly premiums. This means that your monthly premium will likely increase as you get older, which is important to consider when choosing a Medigap plan.
Some companies choose to offer issue-age rated plans. In this case, premiums are determined by the age you were when you enrolled in the policy.
Finally, one Virginia Medigap insurance company offers plans with community-rated premiums. When it comes to these plans, premiums are typically the same for everyone in your area.
Though Medigap plans’ benefits are federally standardized, companies can decide how they want to set premium rates. For that reason, we always recommend consulting with a licensed insurance agent before deciding on a Medicare Supplement plan to ensure that you are getting the best value plan for you.
Medicare Advantage Plans in Virginia
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.
28.1% of Virginia Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan in 2021. There are 132 Medicare Advantage plans available in Virginia, and 100% of Medicare beneficiaries in the state 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 Loudoun County can choose between 50 plans in 2022, while residents of smaller counties have significantly fewer options (there are only 23 plans offered in Culpeper 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 Virginia Medicare beneficiaries is $16.15. Plus, all Virginia 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 Virginia
Another thing for Virginia Medicare beneficiaries to keep in mind is their Medicare prescription drug plan options. In 2022, there are 23 stand-alone prescription drug plans available to Virginia 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 plans with no deductible available to Virginia residents, and the lowest-cost stand-alone drug plan with a $0 deductible has a monthly premium of $62.40.
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 offer prescription drug benefits, but if you are enrolled in Original Medicare and/or a Medigap policy, you will need a stand-alone drug plan if you want coverage for your prescription drugs.
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.