Are you an Arizona resident approaching their 65th birthday? If so, there’s never been a more suitable time to learn how Medicare can support your ongoing health care.
Of course, changing health care coverage can be overwhelming, but that doesn’t mean you should put it off – doing so can incur avoidable charges further down the line. The truth is, Medicare isn’t as complicated as it might seem, and with our experts by your side, we’ll find a plan to match your needs and budget.
Arizona Medicare Insurance Trends
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported the following information on 2024 Medicare trends in Arizona:
- 1,447,924 residents of Arizona are enrolled in Medicare for 2024.
- The average Medicare Advantage monthly premium increased slightly in Arizona from $11.93 in 2023 to $12.14 in 2024.
- In 2024, there are 155 Medicare Advantage plans available in Arizona.
- All Arizona Medicare recipients can purchase a Medicare Advantage plan, including those with $0 premiums.
- There are 21 stand-alone Medicare Part D plans in Arizona for 2024.
- The lowest monthly premium available for a prescription drug plan in Arizona is $0.
Medicare Offered in Arizona
When you turn 65, Medicare Part A eligibility is automatic if you receive retirement benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board or the Social Security Administration. If you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disability, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), you may qualify for Medicare Part A before age 65. Other eligibility requirements include being a citizen of the United States or maintaining five consecutive years of legal permanent residency.
Original Medicare consists of Medicare Part A, which covers inpatient care and other hospital services, and Medicare Part B, which covers medically necessary treatments, supplies, and preventive screenings.
Typically, Medicare Part A does not usually require a premium payment, though there are exceptions. Medicare Part B commonly requires a premium, but the cost varies on your income.
Both Part A and Part B also require beneficiaries to cover out-of-pocket expenses. These include deductibles, copays, and coinsurance costs.
Medicare Advantage plans in Arizona include the same coverage as Original Medicare but, in addition, may cover other services, such as vision and dental services. Some Medicare Advantage plans also include prescription drug coverage (Part D) as part of the plan.
Medicare Advantage plans are offered through private insurance companies that have a contract with Medicare. The benefits and costs of the plans vary by company and fluctuate between different Arizona counties.
Arizona Medicare Advantage options include plans from the following private insurance companies:
- AARP Medicare Advantage
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
- Bright Health
Medicare Supplement Plans
Original Medicare (Part A and B) comes with out-of-pocket costs for which the plan holder is responsible. Medicare Supplement plans (Medigap) fill in these gaps, covering a portion of the expenses not included by Original Medicare.
Each state has different rules about which Medicare supplements must be offered to Medicare beneficiaries. In Arizona, Medicare Supplement Insurance companies must offer at least Medigap Plan A to beneficiaries aged 65 and above. Each company must choose which other Medigap plans to sell.
Arizona Medicare Enrollment
Arizona citizens are eligible for Medicare if they are U.S. citizens above 65 years old or are under 65 but are permanently disabled, have end-stage renal disease, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Use Medicare’s online eligibility tool if you are unsure if you qualify.
- You are 65 or older, and you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 40 quarters.
- You are under age 65 and collect benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board for at least 24 consecutive months.
- You have ESRD or ALS.
Enrollment Period Dates
Initial Enrollment Period
This is a seven-month window that allows you to sign up for a plan
- Begins 3 months before the month you turn 65
- Ends 3 months after the month you turn 65
Medicare Open Enrollment Period
This is when you can sign up for a plan, switch a plan or leave a plan
- Begins Starts October 15th
- Ends December 7th
Special Enrollment Period
Special enrollment periods allow you to enroll outside the regular enrollment periods under specific circumstances.
General Enrollment Period
This is when you can sign up for Medicare Part A and/or Part B if you didn’t sign up when first eligible or if you’re not qualified for a Special Enrollment Period.
- Starts January 1st
- Ends March 31st
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
This is when you can switch or leave a Medicare Advantage Plan
- Starts January 1st
- Ends March 31st
Arizona Enrollment Tips & Advice
When comparing the costs of Medicare Advantage or Medigap plans, it’s essential to consider copayment, deductibles, and coinsurance expenses. It is also beneficial to review the amount of money you spend on prescription drugs each year and any additional coverages you may need for your specific ailments.
- Arizona Department of Insurance
- Choosing a Medigap Policy: A Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare
- Social Security Administration
How Do I Enroll in a Medicare Plan?
Our licensed agents can guide you through the options available and determine if you’re eligible for any financial assistance programs or offer advice on which plan would best suit your budget. After all, it’s our job to help find you the best Medicare plan to match your needs!