Medicare provides health insurance coverage for citizens over 65 years old, as well as workers with disabilities. The state government of Rhode Island offers various programs that assist Medicare beneficiaries in the state, even though the federal government funds Medicare itself. More than 21% of the state’s total population currently receives Medicare.
Rhode Island Medicare Insurance Trends
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported the following information on 2021 Medicare trends in Rhode Island:
- There are roughly 224,443 residents of Rhode Island who are enrolled in Medicare.
- The average Medicare Advantage monthly premium decreased to $25.03 in 2021.
- In Rhode Island, there are currently 26 Medicare Advantage plans available.
- All Rhode Island residents with Medicare can buy a Medicare Advantage plan, including those with $0 premiums.
- There are currently 12 different Medigap plans offered.
Medicare Offered in Rhode Island
Medicare is a government health care program that offers financial assistance to those 65 or older and people of any age with specific disabilities. In Rhode Island, 83% of Medicare recipients are qualified due to age, while 17% of people with Medicare in Rhode Island are under 65. This is because Rhode Island has a higher percentage of disabled residents than the U.S. as a whole.
Original Medicare comprises Part A and Part B, which covers different sets of healthcare services.
Medicare Part A is mainly for hospital services such as inpatient care. Medicare Part B offers medical insurance covering outpatient care, preventive screenings, durable medical supplies, and other medically necessary treatments.
Beneficiaries pay out-of-pocket costs of Medicare, such as deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. Premiums are generally not required for Medicare Part A, but they are required for Medicare Part B. Recipients who earn less than $88,000 a year pay a Part B premium of $148.50 a month in 2021.
Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as Medicare Part C, are a comprehensive plan containing Original Medicare and additional benefits such as prescription drug coverage, healthcare services (such as dental, vision, and hearing), and wellness services. The additional coverage will depend on the details of each specific plan. In 2020, 108,464 people enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in Rhode Island, which was more than 48% of the state’s total Medicare population. In Rhode Island, Medicare Advantage Plans may be purchased from private carriers such as:
- Aetna Medicare
- Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island
- Lasso Healthcare
Medicare Supplement Plans
Those who wish for additional coverage beyond Original Medicare may obtain Medicare supplemental plans from Medicare-approved carriers in Rhode Island. These will require an additional premium. All of the plan categories are standardized under Medigap, meaning all lettered plans have the same benefits regardless of the insurer. Federal rules do not guarantee access to a Medigap plan if you’re under 65 and eligible for Medicare as a result of a disability.
Currently, 19 insurers offer Medigap plans in Rhode Island. In Rhode Island, Medigap insurers are not required to provide plans to disabled beneficiaries under 65. Only two of Rhode Island’s Medigap insurers offer plans to people under the age of 65.
Some of the companies offering Medigap plans throughout Rhode Island include:
- AARP – UnitedHealthcare
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island
- Colonial Penn
- Garden State
- Mutual of Omaha
- Sentinel Security
Rhode Island Medicare Enrollment
Rhode Island residents 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 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
Rhode Island Enrollment Tips & Advice
A significant number of residents in Rhode Island may find it difficult to cover all the expenses involved in Medicare insurance. To help these Medicare beneficiaries, The Rhode Island state government offers various Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) that provide several types of financial assistance. These programs also have limits for income and assets.
How Do I Enroll in a Medicare Plan?
If you have any questions about Rhode Island Medicare, speak to one of our licensed agents today. Our agents will discuss your Medicare options and help find a plan that works for you.