Are you a Georgia resident soon approaching your 65th birthday? If the answer is yes, there’s likely one predominant thing on your mind: Medicare.
Although enrollment is simple, it takes time to understand all the different Medicare components. It might seem like a daunting task – entering a world of healthcare that’s new to you – but doing so ensures you select the best Medicare plan.
The sooner you decide, the sooner you can start enjoying Medicare and avoid the fees that come with delayed enrollment. Remember, you’ve been paying into your Medicare fund your entire working life – it’s time for you to reap the benefits.
Georgia Medicare Insurance Trends
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported the following information on 2022 Medicare trends in Georgia:
- Approximately 1,799,586 Georgians are enrolled in Medicare.
- The average Medicare Advantage monthly premium in Georgia decreased slightly from $14.31 in 2021 to $13.55 in 2022.
- In Georgia, 157 Medicare Advantage plans are available.
- All Georgians with Medicare can purchase a Medicare Advantage plan, including those with $0 premiums.
- 32 stand-alone Medicare Part D plans are available in Georgia for 2021.
- All Georgia residents with a stand-alone Part D plan have access to a plan with a lower monthly premium than they paid in 2020.
Medicare Offered in Georgia
Georgia Medicare insurance is a great way to save money on medical care and services for those over 65 or Georgians living with certain medical conditions.
Original Medicare is made up of two parts: Part A and Part B. Medicare Party A is hospital insurance that covers inpatient care costs. Medicare Part B covers the costs of medical treatments such as dialysis and chemotherapy and some medical supplies prescribed by your doctor. Part B may often require paying premiums, while both Medicare Part A and Part B involve deductibles and coinsurance.
Medicare Advantage is an alternative to Original Medicare. The plan combines Original Medicare, supplemental coverage, and prescription drug plans into an easy, single package. Additionally, Medicare Advantage plans include other services, such as vision and dental.
The premiums are comparable to supplemental coverage under an Original Medicare plan, but you get all the same coverage through a single plan.
Unlike Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans are provided by private insurance companies. In Georgia, there are dozens of different plans and providers to choose from, however, the offerings vary by county.
Georgia Medicare Advantage options include plans from the following private insurance companies:
- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
- Clear Spring Health
- Clover Health
- Kaiser Permanente
- Lasso Healthcare
- Sonder Health Plan, Inc.
Medicare Supplement Plans
Medicare supplement plans cover some of the out-of-pocket costs that come with Original Medicare.
Original Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs, such as copayments, deductibles, and coinsurance, can quickly accumulate, and many Medicare beneficiaries in Georgia look to supplement plans as a way of minimizing them.
Each supplement plan (also known as Medigap plans) has different coverage levels, and some also offer coverage for specific medical services.
Medigap plans can be acquired at any time of the year, but an insurer cannot decline you for coverage for health reasons during your one-time enrollment period, which begins when your Medicare Part B is effective and lasts for six months.
Georgia Supplement options include plans from the following private insurance companies:
- AARP – UnitedHealthcare
- Bankers Fidelity
- Great Southern
- Sentinel Security
- State Farm
Georgia Medicare Enrollment
Georgia 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
Georgia Enrollment Tips & Advice
Before you decide to purchase a plan, you need to compare the costs associated with all the programs available to you. Some have appealing low premiums but always consider the out-of-pocket expenses, including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
How Do I Enroll in a Medicare Plan?
If you have any questions about Georgia Medicare options, speak to one of our licensed agents. Our dedicated team will help find a plan that works for your needs and understands the changing nuances in coverage every year so you can be confident that they’re protecting all bases.