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Medicare Supplement Plans in Alabama

Summary: Medicare Supplement plans in Alabama offer benefits that can help cover the costs Original Medicare doesn’t. There are several Medigap plans in Alabama to choose from. Compare plans here and find out which one may be right for your healthcare needs and budget. Estimated Read Time: 12 mins

Table of Contents:

    1. Best Medicare Supplement Plans in Alabama
    2. Who is Eligible for Medicare Supplement Plans in Alabama?
    3. How Much Do Medicare Supplement Plans Cost in Alabama?
    4. Companies Offering Medigap Plans in Alabama
    5. Medigap Plans in Alabama for the Disabled Under 65
    6. Medicare Supplement Plan Rating Methods in Alabama
    7. Medigap Guaranteed Issue Protections in Alabama
    8. When to Enroll in Medigap Plans in Alabama
    9. What are Excess Charges for Medicare in Alabama?
    10. Additional Medicare Coverage Options in Alabama

Original Medicare is a program run by the federal government that provides healthcare for millions of disabled Americans and those over the age of 65. Original Medicare consists of two parts, Medicare Part A and Part B. However, you may find that Original Medicare has several coverage gaps.

Medicare Supplement plans in Alabama, also called Medigap, are health insurance policies that exist to fill those gaps and cover some costs of Original Medicare. If you enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan in Alabama, you will receive coverage for the costs Medicare Part A and Part B leave behind, such as copayments, coinsurance, deductibles, and more.

Below, we review Medigap plans in Alabama so that you can determine the best Medicare supplement insurance for you.

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Best Medicare Supplement Plans in Alabama

There are ten standardized Medicare Supplement plans and two high-deductible plans available for Alabama residents. Each of these Medigap plans is identified by a letter, A through N.

The difference between each lettered plan lies in each plans benefits. For example, Plan F covers the Medicare Part B deductible while Plan G and Plan N do not.

All Medicare Supplement plans in Alabama are standardized. This means that each lettered plan will have the same benefits, regardless of location or insurance company. As an example, if you enroll in Plan G with one company, then you’ll have the same plan benefits that you would if you enrolled with another company in a different state.

Of the 12 available plans. Medicare Supplement Plan N, Plan G, and Plan F are the most popular Medicare Supplement plans in Alabama. While any Medicare Supplement plan can be beneficial, these three plans offer the most comprehensive benefits.

Medicare Supplement Plan F in Alabama

Medicare Supplement Plan F provides the most comprehensive coverage among the three plans. This plan covers all costs left behind by Original Medicare, leaving you with zero out-of-pocket costs for all Medicare-covered services.

Medigap Plan F includes:

  • Part A deductible, coinsurance costs, hospital costs, and hospice care
  • Part B deductible, copays, coinsurance, and any excess charges
  • Blood (first 3 pints)
  • Skilled nursing facility care
  • Foreign travel emergency – 80%

Unfortunately, not all who qualify for Original Medicare can get Medigap Plan F. You must have been enrolled in Medicare Part A before January 1, 2020, to enroll in this plan.

Medicare Supplement Plan G in Alabama

Medicare Supplement Plan G is the second-most comprehensive plan and is the go-to for new Medicare beneficiaries. Medigap Plan G covers everything Plan F does, except for the Medicare Part B deductible. Therefore, once you cover the annual deductible out-of-pocket, you will have no out-of-pocket costs on anything Medicare covers for the rest of the year.

Medigap Plan G includes:

  • Part A deductible, coinsurance, hospital costs, and hospice care
  • Part B copays, coinsurance, and any excess charges
  • Blood (first 3 pints)
  • Skilled nursing facility care
  • Foreign travel emergency – 80%

Medicare Supplement Plan N in Alabama

Rounding out the list of the top three Medigap plans in Alabama, Medicare Supplement Plan N offers the third-highest level of benefits. With this plan, you are responsible for the Medicare Part B deductible, $20-$50 copayments at the doctor or emergency room, and excess charges when applicable in the state you receive care.

Medigap Plan N includes:

  • Part A deductible, coinsurance, hospital costs, and hospice care
  • Part B copays/coinsurance
  • Blood (first 3 pints)
  • Skilled nursing facility care
  • Foreign travel emergency – 80%

After reviewing these three popular Alabama Medicare Supplement plans, you should be able to find one that will meet your budget and your healthcare needs.

Who is Eligible for Medicare Supplement Plans in Alabama?

To qualify for Medicare Supplement plans, Alabama beneficiaries must meet the eligibility criteria for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. People are typically eligible when they turn 65 years old, and they’ve worked for at least ten years (40 tax credits) and have paid into the Medicare system through their taxes.

There are also exceptions to being eligible for Medicare at 65. You could be eligible at a younger age if you have end-stage renal disease (ESRD), ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), or have been on disability and receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for at least two years.

You can purchase a Medigap plan at any time during the year, as long as you have Original Medicare. However, to avoid medical underwriting, your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period or a Special Enrollment Period that gives you Guaranteed Issue rights to enroll in a Medigap plan is the best time to sign up.

You should also note that if you currently have a Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plan and wish to enroll in a Medigap plan, you will have to choose one or the other. It’s illegal to have both types of coverage at the same time.

Before you apply for a Medigap policy, you must first disenroll from your Medicare Advantage plan, but you can only do this during valid election periods. These periods are a Special Enrollment Period, the Annual Enrollment Period, or the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period.

How Much Do Medicare Supplement Plans Cost in Alabama?

How much Medicare Supplement plans in Alabama cost varies depending on several factors. Commonly, your monthly premium is based on your location, age, gender, and tobacco-use status. While there may be other factors depending on the carrier, these are the most common across all policies and Medigap insurance companies.

Typically, men will pay more for coverage than women, and plans with higher benefit levels will cost more than plans with lesser benefits.

The charts below depict the average monthly premium costs between a 65-year-old male and female compared to a 75-year-old male and female in the same Alabama zip code who do not use tobacco.

Female, No Tobacco, Alabama ZIP Code 35242
Medigap Plan Monthly Premium Age 65 Monthly Premium Age 75
Medicare Supplement Plan F $133-$407* $170-$418
Medicare Supplement Plan G $115-$390 $137-$390
Medicare Supplement Plan N $85-$275 $107-$275
Male, No Tobacco, Alabama ZIP Code 35242
Medigap Plan Monthly Premium Age 65 Monthly Premium Age 75
Medicare Supplement Plan F $151-$459* $193-$481
Medicare Supplement Plan G $127-$441 $158-$441
Medicare Supplement Plan N $93-$310 $117-$310

* If on Medicare before 1/1/20

It’s important to note that these prices are just averages, and they could be higher or lower depending on the factors mentioned previously, as well as other personal factors.

Additionally, as you can see in the table above, it is beneficial to sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan as soon as you are eligible. If you enroll at 75, you will likely pay more each month than if you utilized your Medigap Open Enrollment Period.

In addition to premiums, you must account for any out-of-pocket costs your Medicare Supplement plan requires.

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Companies Offering Medicare Supplement Plans in Alabama

Alabama residents have several reputable private insurance companies to choose Medigap coverage from. It’s important to do your research on each carrier because the costs and customer service reputation may vary between them.

The largest companies offering Medicare Supplement plans in Alabama are:

  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama
  • Cigna
  • Humana
  • AARP/UnitedHealthCare
Compare Alabama Medicare Supplement Carriers
Carrier BBB Rating S&P Rating A.M. Best Rating
Aetna A+ BBB A+
Blue Cross Blue Shield F A- A
Cigna No Rating A- A
Humana A+ BBB+ A-
UnitedHealthCare A+ A+ A-

A main factor for choosing an insurance company for your Medicare Supplement plan will likely be the cost of their monthly premium, but there are other factors you should consider as well. Independent credit agencies A.M. Best and S&P evaluate the financial standing of the insurance provider so that they have the necessary funds to fully cover all your healthcare needs. Consumer agencies such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) look at overall customer service based on customer complaints so you can be aware of any potential negative experiences.

Medigap Plans in Alabama For the Disabled Under 65

There is no federal requirement for insurance companies to offer a Medigap plan option to people under 65 who are on Medicare due to disability. Instead, it is up to each state.

Alabama does not require carriers to provide Medigap to disabled beneficiaries. Yet, some carriers in Alabama may still offer a plan to those under 65.

However, the monthly premium for disabled Medigap recipients is often double or triple that of someone 65 or older. If this is the case for you, a Medicare Advantage plan might be a good option before turning 65.

If you are on disability and have a low income, applying for Medicaid in addition to Medicare is crucial. Whether or not you believe you qualify, it doesn’t hurt to apply, as you may not be aware of all eligibility requirements. Those with Medicare and Medicaid may be eligible for a Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plan that helps cover significant healthcare costs.

There are multiple eligibility levels for Medicaid, including Qualified Medicare Beneficiary and Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary. Income and assets determine eligibility.

Once you turn 65, you will get a second Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period. At this time, you can enroll in a Medigap plan without health questions and at a lower monthly premium.

Medicare Supplement Plan Rating Methods in Alabama

There are three rating methods for Medigap policies in Alabama. They are:

  • Attained-Age Rated
  • Issue-Age Rated
  • Community Rated

Most Medigap insurers in Alabama use the attained-age rating method. Under this method, Medigap plan premiums are based on your current age. When you first enroll in a Medigap policy, premiums are typically lower and gradually increase as you age. This increase in premiums is usually due to the generally higher healthcare costs and greater use of medical services that come with age.

Under the issue-age method, the premium is based on your age at the time of enrollment. Generally, those who enroll as soon as they are eligible at 65 have lower premiums that don’t increase solely due to age. However, the premium may still increase due to factors like inflation.

With the community-rated method, all individuals enrolled in the same Medigap plan in a specific geographic location pay the same premium, regardless of their age. Like with the issue-age rating method, the premium may increase due to outside factors like inflation but not due to age.

Medigap Guaranteed Issue Protections in Alabama

By Federal law, Medicare Supplement plans are required to offer guaranteed issue protections (also called Guaranteed Issue rights or GI rights) that ensure individuals can enroll without facing coverage denial or higher premiums based on pre-existing conditions. These protections are designed to ensure Alabama beneficiaries have access to Medigap coverage when needed.

One significant guaranteed issue right is the Medicare Advantage trial period. If you initially joined a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan when you first became eligible for Medicare and decide to disenroll within the first year, you have a one-time guaranteed issue right to enroll in a Medigap plan. This allows you to obtain Medigap coverage without undergoing medical underwriting.

Another important protection is for those who lose coverage. If you lose employer-based retirement coverage or your current Medigap plan terminates or discontinues, you have a guaranteed issue right to enroll in another Medigap plan.

This GI right also applies if you move out of state and your Medigap carrier is no longer available. To qualify for this protection, you must apply for a new Medigap plan within 63 days of the termination of your existing plan.

Additionally, there are guaranteed issue rights related to Medicare Advantage plans. If your Medicare Advantage plan is terminated, you move out of its service area, or you lose coverage due to circumstances beyond your control, you have a guaranteed issue right to enroll in a Medigap plan. To be eligible, you must apply for a Medigap plan within 63 days of the termination of your Medicare Advantage plan.

When to Enroll in Medigap Plans in Alabama

The best time to enroll in Medicare supplemental insurance in Alabama is as soon as you’re eligible, during your initial Open Enrollment Period. Typically, this is as soon as you’re able to enroll in Medicare Part B benefits.

It’s best to enroll in a Medigap policy during this time so that you have guaranteed issue rights and won’t be subject to medical underwriting. If you have health issues, especially a pre-existing condition, you could face higher monthly premiums or be denied coverage altogether if you enroll after your Medigap Open Enrollment Period or if you aren’t eligible for a Special Enrollment period.

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What are Excess Charges for Medicare in Alabama?

Most Medigap plans will cover Medicare excess charges if you see a medical professional who charges them. Medicare excess charges are up to a 15% additional fee on top of the Medicare-approved amount (Medicare assignment) for a service.

Not every state allows physicians to bill for excess charges. However, Alabama is one of the states that permit excess charges.

Your provider can accept Medicare coverage but not Medicare assignment. If this is the case, you may be responsible for excess charges. However, even in states that allow excess charges, it is very uncommon for doctors not to accept Medicare assignment.

If you are worried you may be responsible for excess charges, you should speak directly to your provider before receiving any services. Further, if you receive care in another state, it does not matter that your home state of Alabama allows excess charges; the rules of the state where you receive care apply. Again, these costs are rare, so finding a provider who accepts Medicare assignment should not be difficult.

Additional Medicare Coverage Options in Alabama

In addition to Medicare Supplement plans in Alabama, the state offers a multitude of additional coverage options for Medicare enrollees.

When you have Original Medicare – with or without a Medicare Supplement – Medicare Part D plans provide prescription drug coverage. You can enroll in Part D through an eligible private insurance company, but there are a few things to keep in mind before enrolling.

One important point is that Medicare Part D plans operate off of a formulary. This is a list of prescription drugs covered by each individual plan. You should be sure that the Part D plan you want to enroll in has coverage for the drugs you’re prescribed.

Another thing to consider about Part D is that you should enroll as soon as you’re eligible or the Medicare Part D late enrollment penalty can cost you much higher premiums if you choose to enroll later on.

If a Medigap plan is not suitable for you, private insurance companies in Alabama offer Medicare Advantage plans. Also called Medicare Part C, these plans combine Medicare Part A and Part B, and they often provide prescription drug coverage as well. However, these plans typically entail doctor networks, high deductibles, regular copayments, and the need for a referral to see a specialist.

Lastly, there are ancillary plans available to help cover the costs of hearing, dental, and vision benefits. These plans can provide you with additional coverage not included in Original Medicare or your Medigap plan without losing the comprehensive benefits of a Medicare Supplement plan along with Medicare Part A and Part B.

Alabama Medicare Supplement Plan FAQs

How do I change my Medicare Supplement plan in Alabama?
If you wish to change your Medicare Supplement plan in any state, it is important not to cancel your current coverage until another plan accepts you. In Alabama, Medigap plans require underwriting health questions when changing plans outside your open enrollment window. So, while you can change Medigap plans anytime, a plan could deny coverage or charge you more in premiums due to a pre-existing health condition.
Do Alabama Medigap plans have networks?
Medicare Supplement plans in Alabama do not have networks because Medigap does not come with a network in any state. You can use a Medigap plan at any provider who accepts Original Medicare, regardless of your plan’s carrier.
How do I apply for Medicare in Alabama?
Applying for Medicare is the same in all states. You must sign up with Social Security online, on the phone, or in person.

How to Apply for a Medicare Supplement Plan in Alabama

To find the right Medicare Supplement plan in Alabama, it is essential to work with a licensed agent who can access all options from the top carriers in your area. At MedicareFAQ, our licensed agents can help you personalize coverage based on your budget and medical needs.

Once your agent understands what you are looking for, they will provide you with a side-by-side comparison of all the top plans your area. To begin your coverage comparison, call the number above or complete our online rate form today.

Sources

MedicareFAQ is dedicated to providing you with authentic and trustworthy Medicare information. We have strict sourcing guidelines and work diligently to serve our readers with accurate and up-to-date content.

  1. Medicare Supplement Insurance, ALDOI. Accessed June 2023.
    https://www.aldoi.gov/consumers/seniorhealthinsurance.aspx
  2. Medicare Supplements, Medicare. Accessed June 2023.
    https://www.medicare.gov/supplements-other-insurance/whats-medicare-supplement-insurance-medigap
Kayla Hopkins

Kayla Hopkins

Content Editor
Kayla Hopkins is an accomplished writer and Medicare guru serving as the Editor of MedicareFAQ.com. Upon completing her Communications degree from Ohio University, Kayla dedicated her time to understanding the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare. With her extensive background as a Licensed Medicare Insurance Agent, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her writing.
Ashlee Zareczny

Ashlee Zareczny

Compliance Manager
Ashlee Zareczny is the Compliance Manager for MedicareFAQ. As a licensed Medicare agent in all 50 states, she is dedicated to educating those eligible for Medicare by providing the necessary resources and tools. Additionally, Ashlee trains new and tenured Medicare agents on CMS compliance guidelines. Ashlee is a Medicare expert who specializes in Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Part D education.

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