Many Nebraska residents obtain health insurance by signing up for Medicare. Medicare is a federal program that offers health insurance for people who are at least 65 years old, although those under 65 with certain disabilities may qualify as well. The Nebraska state government also offers various assistance programs to assist Medicare beneficiaries.
Nebraska Medicare Insurance Trends
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported the following information on 2024 Medicare trends in Nebraska:
- Currently, 372,288 Nebraskans are enrolled in Medicare.
- The average Medicare Advantage monthly premium increased from $12.63 in 2023 to $15.31 in 2024.
- There are 44 Medicare Advantage plans available in Nebraska.
- 98.9% of Nebraskans with Medicare have a Medicare Advantage plan.
- There are 22 different Medicare prescription drug plans offered in Nebraska for 2024.
- The lowest monthly premium for a Medicare prescription drug plan is $0.50.
Medicare Offered in Nebraska
Medicare is a government-sponsored health care program that offers financial assistance to American citizens ages 65 and over or those with disabilities.
The primary coverage comes from Original Medicare, Part A, and Part B. Medicare Part A covers inpatient care in hospitals, critical access hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities. Hospice care and some types of home health care are included as well.
Medicare Part B covers doctor services and outpatient hospital care, and some health care services that are not covered in Medicare Part A. These services include physical therapists and the use of durable medical supplies.
Medicare Part A does not typically require premiums, although in some cases, it may be required. Medicare Part B does require premiums based on the beneficiary’s income. Both Medicare Part A and Part B may also require the beneficiary to pay for out-of-pocket expenses. These include deductibles, copays, and coinsurance costs.
Also known as Medicare Part C, these Medicare Advantage Plans can take the place of Original Medicare. These are also available from private carriers with approval from Medicare. These plans provide the primary benefits included in Original Medicare, plus additional benefits such as coverage for health care services that are not covered by Medicare Part A and Part B.
In 2024, companies offering Medicare Advantage plans in the state include:
- Aetna Medicare
- Great Plains Medicare Advantage
- United Healthcare
- Blue Cross Blue Shield Nebraska MA Core (HMO) – 4.5/5 stars
- Blue Cross Blue Shield Nebraska MA Access PPO (PPO) – 4/5 stars
These Medicare Advantage plans are based on medicare.gov and their overall rating of plan quality and performance, found here.
Medicare Supplement Plans
Medicare authorizes some private health insurance companies in Nebraska to provide supplemental plans for Original Medicare. These plans, also called Medigap, can cover extra health care services that Original Medicare does not include. Plans may also cover the costs of deductibles, coinsurance, and copays.
Companies offering Medicare Supplement plans in the state include:
- AARP – UnitedHealthcare
- American Benefit Life Insurance
- American Retirement
- BlueCross BlueShield of Nebraska
- Colonial Penn
- Continental Life Insurance
- Garden State
- Great Southern
- Reserve National
- State Farm
Nebraska Medicare Enrollment
Nebraskans are eligible for Medicare if they are a U.S. citizen and 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 to see 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
- Starts November 1st
- Ends January 15th
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
Nebraska Enrollment Tips & Advice
Medicare and health insurance can be complicated. The state of Nebraska acknowledges this problem by running the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP). This program offers free and unbiased information and counseling so that Nebraska residents can make informed decisions regarding Medicare and health insurance.
How Do I Enroll in a Medicare Plan?
If you’re not sure about your Medicare coverage, talk to one of our licensed agents so that they can find the plan best suited for you. We’ll find a plan that suits your needs and your budget.