Enrolling in Medicare is a decision that should be made before your 65th birthday. You’ve been paying into it your entire life, and you deserve the many benefits of being enrolled as soon as possible.
Taking advantage of Medicare is simple, but understanding the different components can be a challenging task. The sooner you decide which plan to enroll in and submit your application for benefits, the more prepared you’ll be when it’s time to use them!
Delaware Medicare Insurance Trends
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported the following information on 2022 Medicare trends in Delaware:
- There are 220,541 Delaware residents enrolled in Medicare.
- 100% of people with Medicare have access to a Medicare Advantage plan.
- Delaware’s Medicare beneficiaries can select from 28 Medicare Advantage plans.
- The average Medicare Advantage premium cost decreased from $14.85 in 2021 to $11.92 in 2022.
- There were 21 stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans available in 2022.
Medicare Offered in Delaware
Original Medicare offers basic health insurance coverage. Part A covers some inpatient care costs for hospital stays, costs associated with stays in a skilled nursing facility or hospice, and some home health services. Part B covers a portion of the costs for medically necessary services to diagnose or treat a medical condition, and preventive services. Original Medicare does not cover prescription drugs, dental, vision, or hearing care. Original Medicare is administered by the federal government to U.S. residents over the age of 65, while supplemental Medicare plans cover things not covered by Part A and Part B and can be purchased from private insurance providers.
Medicare Advantage, also known as Part C, combines Original Medicare with Medicare Part D, which provides prescription drug coverage.
In Delaware, Medicare Advantage plans are available from insurers such as:
Medicare Supplement Plans
Medicare supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, can help cover copayments and deductibles and some medical expenses not covered by Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, or Medicare drug plans (Part D). In Delaware, there were 12 different Medigap plans available from the following insurers (among others):
- American Retirement
- Colonial Penn
- State Farm
Delaware Medicare Enrollment
Residents of Delaware 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
Delaware Enrollment Tips & Advice
The law requires each state to provide objective counseling and advice for Medicare beneficiaries who may have questions regarding the various guidelines and details regarding coverage. These are called State Health Insurance Programs (SHIP). In Delaware, this program is provided by the Delaware Medical Assistance Bureau (DMAB).
How Do I Enroll in a Medicare Plan?
If you have any questions about Delaware Medicare options, speak to one of our licensed agents. Our dedicated team will help find a Medicare plan that works for you.