All New Hampshire residents had access in 2022 to at least one Medicare Advantage plan with a $0 monthly premium.
Medicare Advantage plans are provided by private insurance companies as an alternative to Original Medicare (Parts A and B) , providing the same coverage as Parts A and B and usually additional coverages.
NH residents can choose Medicare Advantage plans that also include prescription drug coverage.
Everyone in New Hampshire can enroll in a new plan at one of two key times each year.
Seniors in New Hampshire can choose between Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan to provide their insurance benefits.
While there is one Original Medicare offering nationwide, a total of 44 Medicare Advantage plans were available in New Hampshire in 2022.
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Medicare Advantage plans (also called Medicare Part C) provide Medicare coverage from private insurance companies with guidance from the federal Medicare program. When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan in New Hampshire, Medicare pays your Medicare Advantage plan company a lump sum to provide your medical benefits. In return, the company negotiates with healthcare providers and facilities to establish “networks.” When you choose providers in your network, you experience the greatest cost savings for your medical care.
Negotiating with network providers often means Medicare Advantage plans in NH can offer benefits that go beyond what Original Medicare offers. This includes services such as dental, vision or hearing benefits. Some even offer wellness benefits, such as gym memberships, health incentive programs or stipends to buy over-the-counter health items.
Why are Medicare Advantage plans region-specific?
Medicare Advantage plans are region-specific because insurance companies form networks with doctors and facilities in your area. As a result, choosing a Medicare Advantage plan is typically region-specific. If you do happen to move within New Hampshire or to another state, you can select a new region-specific plan during what is known as a Special Enrollment Period.
The average New Hampshire resident paid $21.02 for their monthly Medicare Advantage premium in 2022.
Costs are always a consideration, and all New Hampshire residents have access to at least one Medicare Advantage plan that does not charge a premium for services. Some $0 premium plans also include prescription drug coverage.
Remember that when you have a Medicare Advantage plan in New Hampshire, you’ll still pay for your Part B premium. So it’s important to consider the premium you already pay, plus potential costs from a Medicare Advantage premium when selecting your plan.
One of the benefits of choosing a Medicare Advantage plan is greater certainty in costs. All Medicare Advantage plans protect you with an out-of-pocket maximum. If you meet this maximum, your plan takes over your usual out-of-pocket costs. Original Medicare does not have an out-of-pocket maximum, although two of the 10 standard Medigap plans that you can add to Original Medicare for supplemental coverage do feature an out-of-pocket maximum.
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You get an extra benefit when you turn 65: You qualify for Medicare. Most New Hampshire residents will qualify for Medicare based on age. Your Initial Enrollment Period for Medicare is the three months before, the month during and the three months after your 65th birthday.
If you already receive Social Security benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare. If you do not, you can enroll via the Social Security Administration in-person or via phone or online. You can sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan once you enroll in Parts A and B of Original Medicare.
Current Medicare enrollees in New Hampshire can also sign up for Medicare Advantage plans at other key times throughout the year.
The Medicare Open Enrollment Period, also known as the Annual Enrollment Period, is October 15 through December 7 each year. During this time, you can enroll in a new Medicare Advantage plan or switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage. If you are happy with your current plan, you do not need to re-enroll every year. If you enroll in a new plan, it will take effect on January 1.
Each year, January 1 through March 31 is the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. If you are currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage, you can switch to a different plan or return to Original Medicare. However, if you are enrolled in Original Medicare, you cannot switch to Medicare Advantage at this time.
All Medicare Advantage plans in NH fulfill Part A and Part B coverage, and many also include Part D prescription drug coverage. Having one Medicare Advantage plan that does all three can be an advantage for those who want to have only one company to call regarding plan benefits and explanations of cost.
Beginning in 2021, there are new potential cost savings for Medicare Advantage enrollees in New Hampshire. Medicare launched a program called the Senior Savings Model where Part D programs can participate in offering insulins for no more than $35 a month. Nineteen Medicare Advantage plans in NH offered prescription drug coverage that included the model in 2022. If this cost-saving option would benefit you, you can search for this option when selecting a Medicare Advantage plan.
How do I select the best Part D plan for me?
Part D plans offer a listing of covered medications called a formulary. When you search for a Part D plan, you can usually review the covered medications to ensure the medications you typically take are covered. Medicare offers search functions to allow you to input your current medications. Choosing a plan that covers most of your medications will provide the most cost-savings.
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Medicare Plans Guide
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Medicare Beneficiary Guide
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Low Income and Medicare Guide
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A Caregiver’s Guide
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