an elderly couple

Integrity Now Insurance Brokers – Alaska

More than 108,032 people in Alaska have signed up for Medicaid as of 2022. Alaska has the third-smallest population in the country, but it also has the fewest people eligible for Medicare coverage. Medicare beneficiaries make up roughly around 14 percent of Alaska’s entire population, while Medicare enrollees make up around 19 percent of the overall US population.

Given that Alaska has the lowest percentage of people 65 and older in the United States, this is understandable. However, the Alaska Commission on Aging noted that 2017 marked the seventh year in a row that the state had the fastest-growing population of 65-and-older residents in the US.

 

Most Alaskans are eligible for Medicare at the age of 65. However, those who have been receiving disability payments for at least two years or have been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or kidney failure are also eligible for coverage.

In the United States, 84% of Medicare recipients are eligible because they are 65 years old or older, while the other 16% are eligible because of a physical or mental disability. In Alaska, 86% of Medicare beneficiaries are eligible because they are elderly, while 14% are eligible because they have a disability.

Medicare Options in Alaska

Original Medicare

Part A and B fall under Original Medicare. Part A covers hospital insurance. This includes inpatient hospital care, hospice care, certain skilled nursing facilities, and some home healthcare.

Part B is essentially medical insurance. Outpatient care, durable medical equipment, and in-home care are all included in this plan.

It also covers some preventive care, such as immunizations and screenings, to keep you healthy and prevent illnesses from worsening.

an elderly couple talking to a medicare insurance agent

Medicare Advantage

Where accessible, private insurance businesses that have contracts with Medicare sell Part C (Medicare Advantage) plans.They combine parts A and B coverage into a single policy. Some plans additionally provide Part D (drug/prescription medication) coverage, as well as other non-Medicare benefits including dentistry, hearing, vision, and other services.

As of 2022, there are two Medicare Advantage plans available in Alaska. To ensure you’re aware of any new Alaska Medicare Advantage plans before the open enrollment period begins, check the Medicare website.

Enter your ZIP code into the Medicare plan finder tool to check if any Advantage plans are available in your region.

Some Medicare plans in Alaska, like Plan F or Plan G, offer choices for Medigap. These plans add to Original Medicare Parts A and B to give people with Medicare complete coverage. Alaska has a much smaller population than other states. This has changed how many Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Part C, are available.

Alaska’s Medicare Advantage program offers four types of plans:

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

HMOs usually require that you get all services from providers in their network:

  • You should have a primary care physician (PCP), specialistreferrals, and prior approvals for certain treatments and prescriptions.
  • Most plans include drug coverage.
  • You can’t buy prescription drug coverage on its own.
  • Costs are lower if you remain in network.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)

PPOs have a network of preferred providers, but you can choose doctors or healthcare facilities from outside the network for a higher cost.

  • You’re not required to select a PCP or seek specialty referrals.
  • Most plans include drug coverage.
  • You can’t buy separate drug coverage.
  • Higher premiums and costs outside of the network.

Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS)

It’s not necessary for PFFS plans to have a PCP or specialist referrals:

  • Anyone who accepts the conditions of the Medicare plan and agrees to assist you is eligible for Medicare benefits.
  • Drug coverage may be included, or you can choose a separate drug plan.
  • If you go with a provider who doesn’t agree to the conditions of the plan, you’ll pay more.

Special Needs Plan (SNP)

SNPs are only available to persons with specific conditions or characteristics, and they include coordinated care and benefits that are specifically designed to match your needs:

  • You’ll need a primary care physician (PCP) and specialist referrals.
  • Medication is always covered.
  • You can join this plan at any moment if you meet the requirements.

Each plan has a different price and gives you a different level of freedom in choosing care providers. All Medicare Advantage Plans offer the same coverage as Original Medicare, but you can get extra benefits for a higher premium.

an elderly couple hugging while holding insurance documents

Medicare Options in Alaska

If you’re on original Medicare, private insurance companies’ Medicare supplement plans (Medigap) can help you cover costs like copays and coinsurance. You cannot pair a Medigap plan with an MA plan.

There is no out-of-pocket limit for Original Medicare. You’ll be required to pay a Part A deductible for each hospitalization, a yearly Part B deductible, and a year-long co-insurance payment for Part B care.

In accordance with federal regulations, the benefits of Medigap insurance are governed at the federal level. They are consistent across all insurers and states (except for three states with waivers allowing them to change how they standardize plans). Part A and B fall under Original Medicare. Part A covers hospital insurance. This includes inpatient hospital care, hospice care, certain skilled nursing facilities, and some home healthcare. 

Part B is essentially medical insurance. Outpatient care, durable medical equipment, and in-home care are all included in this plan. It also covers some preventive care, such as immunizations and screenings, to keep you healthy and prevent illnesses from worsening.

Medicare Plan F

Plan F of the Medicare Supplement Insurance Program is extremely popular in the United States. This is because it offers coverage upfront. Plan F covers the remaining 20% of your outpatient costs after Medicare has paid for 80% of them.

It even provides coverage for trips to other countries. People enjoy the concept of a plan that covers all their needs. A visit to the doctor is much more comfortable when there are no co-payments. All Medicare services should be free of charge for those on Alaska Medicare Plan F coverage, regardless of whether they are being provided by a doctor or hospital.

As of January 1, 2020, Plan F is only available to people whose Part A effective date was prior to the beginning of 2020.

Comparing Medicare Advantage Plans in Alaska

Roughly 21.3 % of Alaskans are enrolled in Medicaid and 10% is covered by Medicare. It is important to choose the right plan that suits your budget and needs.

Consider the following factors when comparing Medicare Advantage plans in your area:

Provider Network

Keep costs down by making sure your hospital, doctors, and pharmacies are all in the same network.

an elderly person signing a document

This is on top of your monthly Part B premium, so it has an impact on your monthly budget. Whether you use your benefits or not, you still have to pay it. Make sure you have at least one plan with affordable drug coverage and minimal to no premium in your area.

Each time you get a prescription, check to see if your medication is on the plan’s formulary and what their cost is. You can discuss with your doctor about a generic or alternate version of the medication you require.

For Medicare-covered services, this is the most you’ll have to pay if you adhere to the plan’s in- and out-of-network coverage guidelines and do not exceed the premium, deductible, and medication costs.

Often referred to as cost-sharing, you are responsible for these costs when you use your benefits. Find out how much your insurance covers for doctor’s appointments, treatments, services, and prescriptions.

Do you want to be able to keep your benefits when you travel domestically? Keep in mind that with Medigap insurance, you’ll be able to get treatments no matter where you travel. Medicare Advantage plans, on the other hand, often have a network but cover emergency and urgent care anywhere in the country.

Think about the additional benefits that are crucial to your situation.You might require hearing and vision benefits, or other targeted services. To get more comprehensive coverage, you may have to pay a premium if your plan requires you to use only network providers.

To be eligible for Medicare, you must be 65 years of age or qualify for disability. To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, you require a 24-month-long medical condition that renders you eligible for payments.

Your chances of becoming eligible increase if you have an incurable illness like end-stage renal impairment or ALS.

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Medicare Enrollment in Alaska

If you have started collecting Railroad Retirement Board or Social Security benefits at least four months before your 65th birthday, Medicare will sign you up automatically. Otherwise, you’ll have to apply for benefits online or reach out to your local Social Security office.

Enrollment in Medicare is openduring the following time frames:

This enrollment period begins three months prior to and concludes three months after the date of your 65th birthday. People have not received Medicare coverage before can apply during this period. You can also adjust your Medicare plan if you applied for it when you were younger.

If you missed the initial enrolling period, don’t worry. General enrollment for Medicare runs from January 1 through March 31. Please note, however, that your coverage begins on July 1. You can choose from Medicare Advantage, Original Medicare, Medigap, or Part D.

From October 15 to December 7, open enrollment gives you the option to enroll, switch plans, or cancel your current coverage. If you live in an area where Medicare Advantage or original Medicare are both offered, you can compare the two options and switch between them. You can also add, remove, or alter your Part D coverage.

If your existing insurance plan terminates for whatever reason, you’ll be granted a special enrollment period during which you can sign up for Medicare or switch plans.

a medicare insurance agent talking to an elderly couple

Why Trust the Medicare Insurance Agents at Integrity Now Insurance?

Medicare Insurance Agents at our company are certified annually by a national certification body called America’s Health Insurance Plan (AHIP). You can rely on our guidance when it comes to your Medicare Insurance needs.

Your best interests are our only concern as independent Medicare insurance agents. We help you compare quotes and select the Medicare insurance plan that both within your budget and the best fit for your specific situation.

New Medicare insurance companies and plans enter the market every year. Existing plans can also see additions or reductions to their list of benefits. To save you time, we monitor all these developments for you.

What Makes Medicare Hope Insurance Agents Special?

Since we are an independent Medicare insurance agency, we have access to all of Alaska’s Medicare insurance providers. Our independence allows us to make fair suggestions on which Medicare insurance provider might be the best fit for you.

We offer our assistance free of charge, raising the question of how Medicare insurance agents get paid. When we place you with a Medicare insurance company, we are compensated by that company.

Integrity Now Insurance Brokers has local, licensed Medicare insurance agents that are happy to assist you. You won’t have to waste time researching endlessly; instead, one of our knowledgeable Medicare Insurance Advisors will assist you in finding a plan that’s right for you.

An insurance representative for Medicare will assess your healthcare requirements and weigh up all the available possibilities for you. This includes determining if a Medicare Supplement Plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan is better for you.

Looking for a one-on-one consultation about Medicare Advantage? Feel free to give us a call (562) 735-3553 and one of our representatives will give you all the information you need.