Introduction to Medicare Part C in Minnesota (Medicare Advantage)

Traditional Medicare (Parts A and B) does its best to provide senior citizens with the medical care they need during their retirement years. However, there are gaps in this coverage which you will be required to pay out-of-pocket, should you require those services. If you don’t cover those gaps with some sort of supplemental insurance coverage, you may be in for some devastatingly expensive medical bills. This article will explain the ins and outs of one particular type of Medicare supplement insurance policy: Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C).

Federal Regulations for Medicare Advantage

Sometimes, Medicare Advantage is referred to as a “Medicare replacement” policy due to how it works. When you enroll in Medicare Advantage, the federal government is no longer responsible for paying out claims on your Medicare benefits – that responsibility is transferred to your new Medicare Advantage insurance provider. But don’t worry; there are laws in place to make sure that your policy provides equal or greater coverage than Medicare alone. Many providers add a wide variety of additional coverages and benefits, because that is what attracts the most customers.

Medicare Advantage Enrollment In Minnesota

Minnesota has the highest percentage of Medicare Advantage enrollees in the entire countries. The majority of Medicare-qualified seniors (51%) in the land of 10,000 lakes prefer Medicare Advantage over all other forms of Medicare supplement insurance. Below is a chart which identifies which Advantage plans are the most popular:

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

Living in Minnesota, your rates will be significantly different than a senior living in California, for example. Based on statistical information for your area, the chart below lists some average rates which seniors could pay for a Medicare Advantage policy:

Most Popular Medicare Advantage Plans in Minnesota

Another factor which will influence your monthly rate has to do with what type of plan you choose. Not all plans are priced equally. If you choose an HMO plan, with a small provider network and several restrictions, you will pay a lower price. Plans with larger networks, such as PPOs, cost more in exchange for giving you more freedom of choice.

Helpful Medicare Advantage Tips & Tricks

Doctor/Provider Network Restrictions

One of the more complicated aspects of Medicare Advantage is the fact that you can only receive medical care from within your plan’s provider network. Or, if you need to go outside your network, there will likely be expensive and difficult restrictions. If you are curious about an Advantage plan, make sure you talk to your doctor first and see whether or not they are available in a provider network near you. Don’t commit to a plan before you find out if you can get the medical care you need while your policy is active.

Doctor/Providers List

Drug, Vision and Dental Coverage

If you need ancillary coverage options – such as prescription drugs, vision, or dental coverage – Medicare Advantage is one of the few supplement insurance policies which can help you with that. MAPD plans are policies which include Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. Additionally, you can add extras such as dental or vision onto almost any available Advantage plan. But the convenience of bundling all of your coverage under one single plan will likely come with a slightly higher price tag, depending on how many options you add.

Enrollment Options & Best Time To Enroll

Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan is similar to the Medicare enrollment process (especially if you are still within your Initial Enrollment Period). However, your provider may still want to ask you some questions about your health, or screen you for pre-existing conditions. Most of the time, this shouldn’t prevent you from obtaining coverage. However, serious conditions such as End Stage Renal Disease can make it substantially more likely to get rejected. But you have options, and your state department of insurance can explain them to you. You may also take a look at our Medicare Advantage Enrollment Options page for additional enrollment details.

  • Initial Enrollment Period: 6-month timeframe when you first enroll in Medicare to purchase a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): This timeframe runs from October 15th through December 7th every year, and during this time you can change or cancel your Medicare Advantage and part D drug plan.
  • Special Enrollment Period (SEP): During special circumstances, you may be eligible to purchase/change a plan outside of the Annual Enrollment Period. Things such as moving out of the plans’ service area, losing group health or employer coverage, a company no longer offering plans in the area, etc. are all events that could trigger a SEP.

What Medicare Advantage Plan Is Best For Me?

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