In Tennessee, just under 1.4 million people are enrolled in Medicare plans, with approximately one-third of beneficiaries opting for a Medicare Advantage plan. There are 117 Medicare Advantage plans available to choose from in 2021, up from 97 plans in 2020. In addition, in Tennessee, 32 stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans (Part D) are available for 2021, compared to 30 Part D plans in 2020. (Source)
Tennessee Medicare Insurance Trends
- As of 2021, 1,383,117 Tennessee residents are enrolled in Medicare
- More than a third of beneficiaries are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan
- There are 117 Medicare Advantage plans in Tennessee in 2021, up from 97 plans in 2020
- There are 32 stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans, known as Part D, available in 2021, compared to 30 plans in 2020; 77% of Medicare beneficiaries in Tennessee have Part D prescription drug coverage, either as a standalone policy or as part of a Medicare Advantage plan
- 30% of enrollees with a standalone Medicare prescription drug plan receive financial help from the low-income subsidy (LIS)
- The average monthly Medicare Advantage premium in Tennessee decreased from $21.72 in 2020 to $20.82 in 2021.
Medicare Offered in Tennessee
Original Medicare offers basic health insurance coverage. It is made up of Part A, which 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 to cover things that are not covered by Part A and Part B can be purchased from private insurance providers.
Medicare Advantage combines Original Medicare with Medicare Part D, which provides prescription drug coverage. About 77% of Medicare enrollees in Tennessee have Part D coverage, including enrollees with stand-alone Part D plans and those with Medicare Advantage, which includes Part D. In Tennessee, there are 117 Medicare Advantage plans available in 2021, some of which have $0 premiums. There are nine Medicare Advantage plans in Tennessee that offer enrollees benefits such as wellness and healthcare planning, reduced cost sharing, and rewards and incentives programs, in addition to the basic coverage offered by Parts A, B and D.
The availability of Medicare Advantage plans varies depending on which county in Tennessee you live in.
Medicare Supplement Plans
Medigap plans are optional plans that subsidize Medicare Original or Medicare Advantage plans. They are ideal for those who require additional coverage due to health concerns or medical needs.
In Tennessee, the state has adopted rules to ensure that people under age 65 have access to Medigap plans. Since 2011, Tennessee Medigap insurers offering plans to people 65 and older must also offer those plans to residents under 65 who become eligible for Medicare due to a disability. Those residents can enroll for Medigap plans during the same window as those who gain eligibility due to age. However, Tennessee residents under 65 may be charged very high premiums for their Medigap plan. (Source)
Tennessee Medicare Enrollment
To qualify for Medicare, Tennessee residents must be U.S. citizens aged 65 and over or have received Social Security disability benefits for a minimum of 24 months. Tennessee residents under 65 are eligible for Medigap coverage if they have received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for at least 24 months.
Enrollment Period Dates
The enrollment period dates for Medicare in Tennessee are the same as the enrollment dates nationwide.
Initial Enrollment Period
This is when you can 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 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
Tennessee Enrollment Tips & Advice
- Be aware of when you are eligible for enrollment in Medicare (see above)
- When shopping for coverage, keep in mind that not all Medicare Advantage plans are available in all Tennessee counties
- Consider your specific medical needs when shopping for a Medigap plan, such as vision, hearing, or dental needs
- If you collect SSDI checks, you may enroll in a Medigap plan before you turn 65. Be aware that these plans may have high premiums.
- Understand your coverage: Original Medicare may not be sufficient for your health and medical needs
- If you require financial aid, check to see if you are eligible for help through a low-income subsidy (LIS) plan
How Do I Enroll in a Medicare Plan?
If you have any questions about Tennessee Medicare and your eligibility for supplement or advantage plans, speak to one of our licensed agents today. Our agents will discuss your Medicare options and help find a plan that works for you.