Nebraska Medicare Supplement Plans
There are 10 different letter plans and many different companies to shuffle through. Beneficiaries that work with a broker won’t have to waste time flipping through hundreds of coverage options.
Our brokers start by identifying your coverage area, eligibility, and financial needs/ risk assessment. Brokers don’t represent one company; also, with our brokers, they represent top-rated insurance carriers and specialize in the Medicare industry.
The best policy for your neighbor might not be the most suitable coverage for your situation. Let’s discover more about how Medicare coverage works and the benefits of a Nebraska Medigap plan.
Nebraska Medicare Supplement Plans
Supplement insurance plans are sold by private insurance companies. Policies are labeled by letters, A – N, each letter includes a different level of benefits.
Beneficiaries should consider purchasing a policy during the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period. This takes place from the time you’re both 65 and Part B is effective; this period lasts for 6 months and during this time insurance companies must waive underwriting requirements.
This means beneficiaries can enroll in coverage despite serious pre-existing conditions; also, the coverage won’t have a higher premium because of those health complications. Medigap plans give beneficiaries the freedom to see any Medicare doctor in the United States.
Supplement plans with the same letter are identical despite coming from different companies, the price will be the only difference.
So, Medicare Supplement Plan N with Cigna has the same coverage as Plan N with Mutual of Omaha. The only difference will be the cost and since both of these are top carriers, it’s usually in your best interest to choose the lower-cost option.
Medigap Coverage in Nebraska
An AHIP analysis states almost 60% of Nebraska’s Medicare population has supplement insurance. Meaning, roughly half of the state’s Medicare population has Medigap coverage.
Medigap plans can provide beneficiaries with protection against out of pocket medical expenses; without this coverage, Medicare beneficiaries are in a financial risk they might not want to take. However, the beneficiaries paying for Medigap will discover in the long-run how much money these policies save.
Let’s say Nancy has Traditional Medicare only. Nancy is under the impression her Medicare coverage and Part D policy are sufficient; however, one day nancy falls ill and learns the true cost of Medicare.
Medicare has 2 deductibles; Part A deductible applies to inpatient services costing $1,364 each benefit period, the Part B deductible costs $185 in 2019. In addition to these deductibles, beneficiaries must pay 20% of the entire medical bill.
It’s difficult to predict hospital costs, in one area the cost could be $5,000 and in another place, it could be less. Also, the reason hospitalization plays a factor; if you need a bypass, of course, you can expect costs to reach several figures.
To avoid paying 20% of a coronary artery bypass, plus deductibles, enroll in Medigap insurance. Medicare Supplements help protect your finances from the risk of medical debt.
Nebraska Medigap Eligibility for Disabilities
Individuals with a qualifying disability who aren’t 65 yet may still in enroll in Medicare. Although, enrollees must first receive benefits for a minimum of 2 years. In Nebraska, 13% of Medicare beneficiaries are under the age of 65.
Federal rules don’t guarantee access to Medigap policies for those under 65. It’s very unusual to find a policy in Nebraska that covers a beneficiary under the age of 65.
United American Insurance has Medigap plans available for Nebraska residents under the age of 65, and/or with disabilities. However, the policy costs much more for someone under 65 with disabilities than it does for someone who is 65.
In this state, the “safety-net” option is not requiring private insurance companies to offer Medigap plans to those under the age of 65. Instead, beneficiaries may enroll in the state’s high-risk pool (NE-CHIP). Unlike other state’s high-risk pools, Nebraska doesn’t sell regular Medigap plans.
NE-CHIP offers coverage for those who couldn’t get the type of insurance they were interested in, due to medical underwriting. Although, deductibles likely range from $5,000 up to $10,000. Premium costs depend on tobacco use, age, and the deductible chosen. Amounts may vary among carriers or due to an individual’s health/age.
State law mandates these premium amounts are set higher than the rates of private insurance market costs. Most of the state’s disabled beneficiaries have coverage from a supplemental Medicaid policy, or from an employer.
However, some beneficiaries have policies from carriers offering coverage to those under 65 and others receive benefits from a Medicare Advantage Plan instead of Medicare. No matter how long an individual has Medicare coverage, after turning 65, disabled beneficiaries may use the Medigap Open Enrollment Period to join a Medigap plan.
Medicare Advantage in Nebraska
If plans are available, beneficiaries may enroll in an Advantage plan as an alternative way to receive benefits. Today, of the 93 counties in the state – only 67 offer a type of Medicare Advantage plan.
In Box, Butte, Hamilton and Kearney counties all offer only one Advantage plan option. Whereas in Douglas county, residents have 15 different plans to choose from.
Medicare Advantage plans only provide coverage within the service area; some PPO policies allow you to see doctors outside the network at a much higher rate. MA plans have lower premiums; however, the expenses come from deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
MA plans only need to provide coverage as good as standard Medicare. MA plans dictate claim approval or denial, that’s why these plans are Medicare replacement plans. This coverage could benefit someone who is under 65 and ineligible for Medigap coverage; also, this is beneficial for low-income individuals with Medicaid coverage and Medicare.
However, if Nancy has an MA plan when she’s hospitalized the costs are $395 per day for days 1 – 4 during an in-network visit. If Nancy is out of network, the costs are higher than standard Medicare, costing 40%.
An ambulance costs $225 copayment. Before the plan covers 100% of covered services, Nancy must spend either $5,500 in-network or outside the network $10,000. Services Nancy pays for that the insurance company denies won’t count towards her out of pocket spending.
So, if she goes to the chiropractor and it’s not covered but she spends $400, that $400 won’t apply to her out of pocket spending. Overall, the amount a beneficiary spends out of pocket each year with a Medicare Advantage plan could end up being substantially more than they’d pay with a Medigap policy in premiums.
Medicare Savings Program in Nebraska
Low-income enrollees that reside in NE may qualify for programs offering discounts on out-of-pocket costs like premiums and coinsurances. All members may apply for Medicare savings programs.
Free counseling service is available to assist members seeking additional information about Medicare; this information is available with the Nebraska Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP).
The 4 Type of Medicare Savings Programs are Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB), Qualifying Individual (QI), Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI), and Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB). These programs can help pay the Part A Premium, the only one that won’t cover the Part B premium is the QDWI.
Income, resources, and investments can play a factor in your eligibility. Each state has different guidelines, if you feel like you can benefit from assistance, you should apply.
Part D Prescription Drugs in Nebraska
PDP coverage in Nebraska ranges from $15 up to $94.30 monthly. Each policy is a little different and depending on the medications you take, having a higher premium could save you more in the long run.
Let’s say Nancy takes 3 brand name medications; well, the $15 plan doesn’t cover 1 of those drugs and the deductible is $415. So, Nancy ends up paying over $300 for her prescriptions.
Now, when Nancy works with our broker, the broker goes through all her medications to ensure the coverage is the most suitable Part D plan. Now, Nancy pays $32 monthly, all her medications have coverage, and she’s only spending $150 a month with no deductible.
If Nancy didn’t take any prescriptions or only had 1 generic, the $15 plan could’ve been a better option. Medicare policies can be made to suit your needs.
Best Medicare Supplement Plans in Nebraska
The best Medigap policy depends on your specific needs. Someone that visits the doctor weekly or needs frequent care might find Plan G is a great option. However, someone that visit the doctor every couple months and doesn’t mind paying a small copayment at the time of service may find Plan N is more suitable.
Medicare beneficiaries will find it’s best to purchase a Medigap policy when you first turn 65 because the premium is the lowest and the insurance company waives underwriting. All Medigap policies cover you at any Medicare doctor, they’re standardized and they cover deductibles, copayments, and coinsurances.
When to Enroll in Nebraska Medicare Supplement Plans
Enrollment for Medigap in Nebraska is a little different than other private Medicare coverage. Supplement insurance has no Annual Enrollment Period; so, seniors can enroll in Medigap anytime. Although, you can’t have both Medigap and a Medicare Advantage plan at the same time.
The best time to enroll in during the Medigap OEP; with Guarantee Issue rights, the premium is the lowest and insurance companies can’t deny your coverage.
While enrolling with GI rights is the best; many seniors pass medical underwriting with the help of our brokers. Our brokers really understand the medical underwriting guidelines, this saves you time and effort trying to find a company to accept you.
Medicare beneficiaries that are losing Medicaid have GI rights to purchase Medigap through Central States Indemnity in Nebraska.
Compare Rates for Nebraska Medicare Supplement Plans
Supplement insurance plans in Nebraska provide coverage for the copayments, coinsurances, and deductibles of Original Medicare. The cost of premiums, deductibles, and coinsurances may vary between carriers as well as plans.
Depending on location and age, comparing rates can get confusing. Here at MedicareFAQ, we can help clear things up. Give us a call at the number above or fill out an online form to compare rates today!