Introduction to Medicare Advantage in Arkansas (Part C)

Are you concerned about costly coverage gaps associated with Medicare Parts A and B? Then you might be thinking about a Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) policy to protect you from these gaps. However, unlike with other Medicare supplement policies, you will be replacing your Medicare benefits with an equivalent or better set of benefits from a private company – the government will no longer be involved in your health care.

Federal Regulations for Medicare Advantage

You won’t have to worry about being sold a shoddy policy with Medicare Advantage – federal laws mandate that your policy be as comprehensive, if not more comprehensive, than Traditional Medicare. In order to make it worth your while, though, many providers will craft an Advantage policy for you which includes Medicare Parts A & B benefits, protection from coverage gaps, and more. MAPD plans include provisions for prescription drug (Medicare Part D) benefits.

Medicare Advantage Enrollment In Arkansas

Medicare Advantage plans seem to be a little less popular in Arkansas when compared to other states. Only 19% of Arkansas seniors who are enrolled in Medicare are receiving their benefits through a Medicare Advantage plan (as opposed to Medigap supplement or a group plan). However, there are a variety of Advantage plans to choose from, as the chart below shows:

Plan Type Enrollment Percentage
HMO Plans 59%
Local PPO Plans 13%
Special Needs Plans 11%
Regional PPO Plans 9%
Private Fee-For-Service Plans 5%
Other (Cost Plans, MSA’s, etc.) 3%

Plan Coverage & Cost

Plan rates vary by state, as well as by county and zip code. Your age, your overall health, and other significant factors will determine how much or how little your provider will charge you for a Medicare Advantage policy. Take a look at what seniors near you are paying (on average) for their plans:

Most Popular Medicare Advantage Plans in Arkansas

Not only will your rates vary by plan and provider, but Medicare Advantage policies will also vary by provider network limitations. There are networks, HMOs especially, which are affordable for many seniors but also highly restrictive. Other networks can be quite costly, but you won’t have as much trouble gaining access to the doctors and hospitals of your choice.

Helpful Medicare Advantage Tips & Tricks

Doctor/Provider Network Restrictions

Before you decide on a Medicare Advantage plan, make sure that your provider network will give you access to the hospitals and doctors that you want most. Not all networks will give you 100% freedom of choice. PPOs and PFFS networks tend to be more flexible, while HMOs are usually restrictive. Also, keep in mind that the rules and restrictions can change at any time.

Doctor/Providers List

Drug, Vision and Dental Coverage

Medicare Advantage policies are one of the few Medicare supplement plans which can combine your Medicare benefits, provide for coverage gaps, and take care of ancillary needs (such as vision, dental, and prescription drugs) all under the same policy. You can pick and choose the options you need, depending on your provider. But remember that the more comprehensive your plan is, the more expensive it will likely be.

Enrollment Options & Best Time To Enroll

Unlike some Medicare supplement policies, the provider of your Part C insurance has the option to evaluate your medical status and deny you coverage for pre-existing conditions. As long as you are not plagued by End Stage Renal Disease, though, you shouldn’t have much to worry about. However, if you do suffer from ESRD, know that certain states have policies in place which can help you get the coverage you need. For more information on enrollment, our Medicare Advantage Enrollment Page has plenty of information to help you meet your needs.

  • Initial Enrollment Period: For best results, try to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan within your first 6 months of Medicare enrollment.
  • Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): You have the option of changing or cancelling your Medicare Advantage and Part D drug plan between October 15th and December 7th every year.
  • Special Enrollment Period (SEP): If you lose your employer plan coverage, move out of your coverage area, or lose coverage from your provider, you could qualify for an SEP.

What Medicare Advantage Plan Is Best For Me?

Compare Medigap Plans Online