You can get Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans with $0 monthly premiums in Alabama.
Many Part C plans include coverage for Part D prescription drug plans.
People with disabilities, including end-stage renal disease and Lou Gehrig’s disease, can get a Medicare Advantage plan in Alabama.
There are multiple options for Part C plans in every county throughout the state.
In the great state of Alabama, Medicare enrollment among residents tops 1 million, with a majority choosing Medicare Advantage (Part C). If you’re wondering why this alternative option to Original Medicare is so popular in Alabama, read on.
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Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans, offered by private insurance companies, are available to people who are enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Medicare Advantage plans combine the benefits offered in Original Medicare with other coverages. Many Part C plans also offer prescription drug (Part D) coverage and other benefits not covered by Original Medicare, which can include dental, vision, and hearing care.
If you have Medicare Advantage:
- You still get Part A coverage of inpatient hospital care as well as some skilled nursing facility care, home health care and hospice care.
- You still get Part B coverage of outpatient care, doctor visits, and durable medical equipment.
- Your specific plan may cover some things not covered by Parts A and B like dental, vision, and hearing.
- Your specific plan may bundle Part D drug coverage.
Your Medicare Advantage plan may come with certain out-of-pocket costs. However, the costs associated with Medicare Advantage plans vary. You can choose from several plan options in Alabama, and some may have a $0 monthly premium. The average monthly Part C premium in Alabama in 2024 is $15.09.
No matter what plan you choose, you’ll have a cap on your annual out-of-pocket costs for covered healthcare, called the out-of-pocket maximum. This eliminates the possibility that your overall plan costs will be higher than what you anticipated. Original Medicare doesn’t have an out-of-pocket maximum.
The monthly Part B premium applies to Part C plans purchased in Alabama. Most people pay the standard amount of $174.70 per month in 2024. Medicare beneficiaries may get a quarterly or monthly bill directly from their insurer for this amount. Others may opt to have their premium automatically deducted from their Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits.
In addition to premiums, Medicare Advantage plans in Alabama could have other associated costs. These may include copays to doctors, deductibles and coinsurance. These fees may vary based on whether or not you see a doctor within the plan’s network of providers.
A licensed GoHealth insurance agent, knowledgeable about the Medicare options in Alabama, will be happy to detail the plans available in your area and your potential out-of-pocket costs.
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Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage are only available to eligible individuals. You must be either a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident who has lived here for at least five years to apply and receive benefits.
In Alabama, most people get Medicare because they are 65 or older. A portion of Medicare beneficiaries in Alabama also get Medicare because they have a disability.
If you’re eligible for Medicare due to disability, age is not a requirement. You are considered qualified and can sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan starting on the first day of the 25th month of receiving Social Security disability benefits, either from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board. If you have ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), you will be eligible for Medicare Advantage starting the first month you receive disability benefits.
Medicare beneficiaries in Alabama who have end-stage renal disease (ESRD) can get a Medicare Advantage plan. If you are on dialysis, you can get a Part C plan on or after the first day of the fourth month you begin treatment. Medicare coverage for people with ESRD starts as soon as you are eligible. Even if you delay signing up, you may have retroactive coverage with Medicare.
There are multiple Medicare Advantage enrollment periods:
- Initial Enrollment Period – If you are getting Medicare when you turn 65, this seven-month period will start three months before your birthday and end three months after.
- Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period – Also known as the Annual Enrollment Period, this period allows Alabamians to join, switch, or drop a plan from October 15 to December 7.
- Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment – If you already have Medicare Advantage on January 1, you can drop or change plans from January 1 to March 31.
- Special Enrollment Period – This enrollment period is year-round. You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you lose your coverage or move. If so, you’ll be able to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan outside of the dates above.
Most Medicare Advantage plans include Part D prescription drug coverage. Some have $0 annual deductibles for prescription drugs. Many have low copays, provided you use a Medicare-approved pharmacy to fill your prescriptions.
There are 31 Medicare Advantage plans available in Alabama that offer additional support for people who receive low-income subsidies, also called Extra Help, or who are chronically ill. For example, enrollees may be able to access lower (or zero) cost sharing for their Part D coverage as well as food and nutrition benefits.
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