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Medicare Supplement Plans in Arkansas

Summary: Medicare Supplement plans in Arkansas can offer help in covering costs that Original Medicare leaves behind. There are various Medigap plans in Arkansas to accommodate a range of healthcare needs and budgets. Take a look at the available options here and discover the Medicare Supplement plan that best fits what you’re looking for. Estimated Read Time: 13 mins

Table of Contents:

  1. Best Medicare Supplement Plans in Arkansas
  2. Eligibility for Arkansas Medicare Supplement Plans
  3. Cost of Medicare Supplement Plans in Arkansas
  4. Companies Offering Arkansas Medigap Plans
  5. Medigap Plans in Arkansas for the Disabled Under 65
  6. Medigap Rating Methods in Arkansas
  7. Medigap Guaranteed Issue Protections in Arkansas
  8. When to Enroll in a Medigap Plan in Arkansas
  9. Are There Medicare Excess Charges in Arkansas?
  10. Additional Medicare Coverage Options in Arkansas

Medicare Supplement plans in Arkansas work with Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) to lower out-of-pocket costs for Medicare enrollees. Depending on your budget and healthcare needs, a Medicare Supplement plan may benefit you. Below, we discuss how Medicare Supplement plans in Arkansas work and how you can best utilize their health coverage.

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Best Medicare Supplement Plans in Arkansas

Medicare Supplement plans in Arkansas are a secondary coverage option that picks up the costs Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B) leaves you to pay. Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans in Arkansas do not provide additional benefits like dental or vision. Instead, these policies pick up the out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare benefits you would otherwise be responsible for.

Medicare Part B only covers 80% of the services and equipment Medicare approves. Thus, Medigap plans pay the other 20%, providing gap coverage. When you encounter steeper healthcare costs, that 20% can add up.

All Medicare Supplement plans in Arkansas are standardized. In this case, standardization means that each plan of the same lettered name will provide identical benefits, regardless of carrier. For example, Medicare Supplement Plan G Arkansas will give you the same coverage whether you enroll with Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement or Cigna.

Additionally, you can see the same doctors across all Arkansas Medigap plans. Arkansas Medicare Supplement plans do not have networks. This means that you can see any provider if they accept Original Medicare.

Plus, you will never need a referral when you see a specialist. Once Original Medicare picks up its portion of the bill, your Medicare Supplement plan will follow suit with the remainder.

When it comes to Medicare Supplement plans in Arkansas, there is no one-size-fits-all policy. So, the best choice for your neighbor may not be the best fit for your budget or health insurance needs.

However, most people find that Medicare Supplement Plan F, Plan G, or Plan N can fulfill both of these needs.

Medicare Supplement Plan F in Arkansas

Medicare Supplement Plan F in Arkansas provides the most comprehensive coverage of all Medigap plans. This plan covers all the out-of-pocket costs Original Medicare otherwise leaves after paying its portion of the bill. Thus, providing 100% coverage for everything Medicare approves.

Medigap Plan F in Arkansas 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%

However, to enroll in Plan F, you must have signed up for Medicare Part A before January 1, 2020. Medicare Supplement Plan F Arkansas is unavailable to anyone enrolling in Original Medicare after this date.

Medicare Supplement Plan G in Arkansas

For those who are not eligible for Medicare Supplement Plan F, Plan G is the most comprehensive. Recently, even those who can get Medigap Plan F are enrolling in Plan G because of its low monthly premium and fantastic coverage.

Medicare Supplement Plan G is almost identical to Plan F. However, Medigap Plan G does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible. So, you will be responsible for this cost. Once you meet the annual deductible – which is the same for all enrollees and changes each year – Medicare Supplement Plan G provides 100% coverage.

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 Arkansas

Medicare Supplement Plan N is a low-cost plan that provides excellent benefits. When you enroll in Medigap Plan N, you are responsible for the Medicare Part B premium, plus a $20 copay at the doctor and a $50 copay at the emergency room if you are not admitted. If you are admitted, the $50 copayment is waived. In addition to these costs, you may be responsible for excess charges with Medicare Supplement Plan N.

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%

Eligibility for Arkansas Medicare Supplement Plans

To be eligible for a Medicare Supplement plan, Arkansas residents must be eligible for Original Medicare. Typically, these requirements include:

  • Being at least 65 years old
  • Being a United States citizen for at least five years

There are exceptions to these requirements, allowing individuals to qualify for a Medicare Supplement insurance plan at a younger age. These exceptions include:

  • Being diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). However, any Medicare coverage won’t start until after a waiting period, which is typically four months of undergoing dialysis.
  • Being diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for at least 24 months.

It’s also important to note that if you are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C) and wish to join a Medigap plan, you will need to pick one or the other. It’s not possible to have both types of coverage simultaneously.

Before applying for a Medigap policy, you must first disenroll from your Medicare Advantage plan, which can only be done during valid election periods. These periods include the Annual Enrollment Period, the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, or a Special Enrollment Period.

Cost of Medicare Supplement Plans in Arkansas

While Medicare Supplement plan benefits are standardized, the monthly premium costs are not the same across the board. Insurance companies are free to set their monthly costs. Thus, finding a reputable carrier that offers your plan at a low price in your ZIP Code is crucial.

Additionally, the monthly cost of your Medicare Supplement plans in Arkansas depends on your age, gender, tobacco use status, and other factors. So, to know your exact premium based on your demographics, it is essential to work with a licensed agent who can access these costs.

The chart below shows an example of the costs for a 65-year-old woman in Arkansas vs. a 65-year-old man in the same Arkansas ZIP Code.

65-Year-Old Female, No Tobacco, Arkansas
Medigap Plan Monthly Premium*
Medicare Supplement Plan F $153-$430
Medicare Supplement Plan G $135-$401
Medicare Supplement Plan N $105-$375
65-Year-Old Male, No-Tobacco, Arkansas
Medigap Plan Monthly Premium
Medicare Supplement Plan F $153-$430
Medicare Supplement Plan G $135-$401
Medicare Supplement Plan N $105-$375

*Sample costs sourced from Medicare.gov

As you can see, Arkansas Medigap policies are community rated. Thus, there is no difference between male and female pricing.

Remember that the above costs are estimates and are subject to change at any time and for any reason. Additionally, you’re likely to find lower premiums the closer you are to age 65.

Companies Offering Arkansas Medigap Plans

Unlike Original Medicare, which is funded through the federal government, Medigap plans are delivered through private insurance companies. Arkansas seniors have various reputable carriers to choose from. Assessing your healthcare needs and budget can help you determine which insurer to work with so that you can get the right coverage. Here are some of the top companies offering Medicare Supplement plans in Arkansas:

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

When choosing an insurance provider for your Medicare Supplement coverage, the cost of monthly premiums is a crucial factor to consider. However, it’s equally important to take other factors into account as well.

Independent credit agencies such as A.M. Best and S&P evaluate the financial stability of insurance providers. Their assessments can help you gauge the carrier’s ability to effectively cover your healthcare expenses. Furthermore, consumer agencies like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) look at customer service based on complaints, offering valuable insights into the overall consumer experience. Taking these factors into consideration will enable you to make an informed decision when selecting a Medigap insurer for your supplemental coverage.

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Medigap Plans in Arkansas for the Disabled Under 65

There is no federal requirement for companies to sell Medicare Supplement plans to those under age 65. Each state can determine whether carriers must offer policies to those on Medicare due to disability.

However, Arkansas does require carriers to offer at least one Medicare Supplement plan to disabled beneficiaries under 65. It’s important to note that the Medigap plan offered to those under 65 (typically Plan A) will have a very high monthly premium. This is due to the beneficiary’s disability status and the liability it brings to the insurance company.

Individuals on Medicare due to disability often enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan until they turn 65. Generally, these plans will save those under 65 in the long run before they age into Medicare as MA plans typically have lower monthly premium costs.

However, once you turn 65, you are eligible to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan with no underwriting health questions. So, you can sign up at the standard premium rate, saving hundreds of dollars each month compared to the disability premium rate. Alternatively, Medicare Advantage plans may also be a great option for your healthcare before turning 65 years old.

Medigap Plan Rating Methods in Arkansas

Arkansas is one of the few states that adopts the community rating system for Medicare Supplement plans. This means that all Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in the same Medigap plan within the same geographic area, such as the same zip code, will pay the same monthly premium regardless of their age. While the premium may increase annually due to factors like inflation, increases won’t be based on age. Community-rated Medicare premiums also tend to be lower overall.

However, if you relocate from Arkansas to a state that doesn’t offer community-rated Medigap plans, you will be subject to the attained age rating or the issue age rating.

The attained age rating is the most widely used rating by insurance companies nationwide. Under this method, your premiums are based on how old you are when you enroll in a Medigap policy. If you enroll when you first become eligible at 65, your premium will be lower. However, an attained age-rated premium will always gradually increase each year as you age.

The issue age rating method, although less common, is similar to the attained age rating. Your premium is based on your age at the time of your enrollment into a Medigap plan, but it will only increase due to outside factors like inflation. Issue age premiums don’t go up due to your age.

Medigap Guaranteed Issue Protections in Arkansas

Medicare Supplement plans are required by federal law to provide guaranteed issue protections, also known as Guaranteed Issue rights or GI rights, ensuring that individuals in Alabama can enroll without being denied coverage or facing higher premiums based on pre-existing conditions. These protections are in place to ensure access to Medigap coverage when it is needed.

One important 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 crucial protection is provided to those who experience a loss of coverage. If you lose employer-based retirement coverage or if your current Medigap plan is terminated or discontinued, you have a guaranteed issue right to enroll in another Medigap plan. This protection also applies if you move out of state and your Medigap carrier is no longer available. To qualify for this GI 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 associated with 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 a Medicare Supplement Plan in Arkansas

Once you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare Part B, you qualify for the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period, which lasts six months after your Medicare Part B is activated. During this time, you can enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan without worrying about Medicare Supplement underwriting questions.

Keep in mind, this window only happens once – unless you are eligible before 65, in which case you get two Medigap Open Enrollment Periods. While you can still enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan at any time, failing to do so during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period could result in future policy denial or higher monthly premiums due to pre-existing health conditions.

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Are There Medicare Excess Charges in Arkansas?

Most Medigap plans provide coverage for Medicare Part B excess charges if you visit a healthcare provider who charges them. Medicare Part B excess charges are additional fees up to 15% above the Medicare-approved amount (also known as Medicare assignment) for a specific service.

Not all states permit physicians to bill for excess charges, but Arkansas is among the states that allow it.

In some cases, your healthcare provider may accept Medicare coverage but not Medicare assignment. This means that you could be responsible for paying the excess charges. However, even in states that permit excess charges, it’s rare for doctors not to accept Medicare assignment.

If you have concerns about potential excess charges, you should talk to your healthcare provider before receiving any services. It’s worth noting that such costs are uncommon, and it’s easier than not to find a doctor who accepts Medicare assignment.

Additional Medicare Coverage Options in Arkansas

Besides Medicare Supplement plans in Arkansas, additional coverage options are available to cover ancillary benefits. These benefits can include dental, hearing, vision, and prescription drug coverage.

You do not need a Medicare Supplement plan to enroll in these additional coverage options. However, they complement Medicare Supplement benefits.

Medicare Part D is a prescription drug plan for Medicare beneficiaries. You can enroll in Medicare Part D once you enroll in Part A. It is essential to sign up as soon as you are eligible. This way, you avoid a late enrollment penalty. It’s also important to check the formulary of the Part D plan you’re looking to enroll in to make sure it will cover the prescriptions you need.

Dental, vision, and hearing plans are also available – often as bundled coverage – as Original Medicare does not cover these benefits.

If you decide a Medicare Supplement plan is not for you, Medicare Advantage plans are also available in Arkansas for anyone with Original Medicare.

Yet, Medicare Advantage plans usually have network restrictions, high out-of-pocket limits, and can require referrals when visiting specialists, from which a delay of care can result. Also, remember that you cannot have both Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage; you must choose one of these policies at a time.

How to Apply For a Medicare Supplement Plan in Arkansas

Looking for Medicare Supplement plans in Arkansas can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! A MedicareFAQ licensed insurance agent can walk you through the process step-by-step from the comfort of your home. We’ll give you all the information you need to make an informed decision so you can enroll in the right Medicare coverage for your needs.

If you are ready to start shopping for your best Medigap option in Arkansas, call us at the number above! Can’t call now? Fill out our online rate comparison form to receive a free rate comparison of all the top plans in your area.

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. Senior Health, Arkansas Department of Insurance. Accessed July 2023.
    https://insurance.arkansas.gov/pages/consumer-services/senior-health/
  2. Medicare Toolkit, ADOI. Accessed July 2023.
    https://arkansasag.gov/consumer-protection/finances/health-care/medicare-and-medicaid-issues/
  3. Medicare.gov - Medigap Supplemental Insurance Plans - Sample Premium Prices in Arkansas. Accessed July, 2023.
    https://www.medicare.gov/medigap-supplemental-insurance-plans/#/m/plans?fips=05119&zip=72201&year=2023&lang=en
Kayla Hopkins

Kayla Hopkins

Content Editor
Kayla Hopkins is an accomplished writer and Medicare educator 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 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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