Cedar rapids is a beautiful city built right along the Cedar River. Museums, sporting events, cultural icons, the city has everything that makes it a great place to retire. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that you can avoid the costly Medicare coverage gaps. Medicare coverage gaps can force you to make the choice between going without the healthcare that you both need and deserve and paying thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses each and every year. On the bright side, thousands of seniors in the Cedar Rapids area have discovered two possible solutions to the threat of Medicare coverage gaps: Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Insurance plans.

Facts and Figures

  • There are 19,043 seniors living in Cedar Rapids right now.
  • There are 9 hospitals in the Cedar Rapids area where seniors can get emergency and/or in-patient care.
  • 18% of Iowa seniors have a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • 49% of Iowa seniors have a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan.
  • Which leaves 36% of seniors potentially uninsured or underinsured against costly Medicare coverage gaps!

Just under two in every five seniors in Cedar Rapids struggles to find reliable access to affordable healthcare. If you’re among the seniors struggling to secure a reliable form of healthcare insurance and relying on Original Medicare in the meantime, your problems are only likely to get worse. With each passing year, you become more at risk of developing an age-related illness. And if you already have an age-related illness, your odds of developing new or worsening symptoms also increase, further pushing your financial and personal independence to the breaking point. The chart below demonstrates just how commonplace many of the worst age-related illnesses are in the city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Disease Prevalence in Cedar Rapids, IA
Arthritis 26%
High Blood Pressure 29%
Coronary Heart Disease 6%
Diabetes 10%
Kidney Disease 3%

Healthcare Costs in Cedar Rapids, IA

With more than a quarter of the senior population of Cedar Rapids suffering from severe arthritis and thousands others suffering from other conditions, healthcare costs are on the rise. Even if your symptoms remain the exact same from one year to the next, the amount that you pay will increase. Why? Because medical costs are currently on the rise in just about every sphere of the healthcare industry. Of course, for most seniors in your condition, symptoms do not stay the same from one year to the next – they get worse over time. The worsening of symptoms then leads to an increased need for treatment, which in turn leads to more out-of-pocket expenses as a result of Medicare coverage gaps. If you are one of the nearly 600 seniors in Cedar Rapids with age-related kidney disease, you could end up paying more than $6,000 in out-of-pocket expenses each year in addition to the out-of-pocket expenses related to any of your other conditions.

Disease Prevalence in Cedar Rapids, IA Annual Cost of Treatment
Arthritis 26% $280
High Blood Pressure 29% $288
Coronary Heart Disease 6% $7,438
Diabetes 10% $2,158
Kidney Disease 3% $6,924

Medicare Advantage Savings in Cedar Rapids, IA

18% of seniors in the Cedar Rapids area have made the switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage in order to avoid the Medicare coverage gaps associated with Original Medicare. Although Medicare Advantage is a private plan that completely replaces your existing Original Medicare health insurance, it is important to know that you won’t be losing any form of coverage. In fact, oftentimes the exact opposite is true. Not only does the government mandate that all Medicare Advantage plans must have at least the same basic coverage options as Original Medicare, but many providers of Medicare Advantage plans also offer additional coverage options at an additional price. And since the government handles most or all of your premiums, your maxed out Medicare Advantage plan might provide you with dozens of new coverage options without costing you more than $0 per month in premiums.

Among the most beneficial coverage options that can be added to your Medicare Advantage plan are prescription drug coverage and minor medical equipment coverage. The specifics of the prescription drug coverage plans vary from one provider to the next, but the general rule of thumb is that Medicare Advantage prescription drug coverage benefits are significantly more comprehensive than Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, enabling seniors who suffer from conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and high blood pressure to enjoy access to all of the medications that they require. By extending coverage to minor medical equipment, such as glucose monitors and testing strips, the savings can really add up over time.

In order to save even more money, many seniors on Medicare Advantage plans have chosen to add additional coverage options for dental and vision care. This is one of the most noticeable differences between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement (Medigap) and Original Medicare insurance. Whereas Medicare Advantage plans can provide comprehensive coverage for things like contact lenses and dental cleanings, neither Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance nor Original Medicare provide many benefits of any kind for either dental or vision care.

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Savings in Cedar Rapids, IA

Medicare Supplement insurance, also known as Medigap insurance, is the much more common method of avoiding Medicare coverage gaps for seniors in Cedar Rapids. Instead of entirely replacing your Original Medicare coverage plan, each of the ten Medicare Supplement plans function by supplementing your Original Medicare coverage plan. The point of Medicare Supplement plans is to ensure that you don’t have to worry about paying copious amounts of money in out-of-pocket costs incurred by Medicare coverage gaps. Since every Medicare Supplement insurance plan provides incredible benefits related to Medicare Part A coverage gaps, seniors suffering from chronic age-related heart and/or kidney disease stand to benefit quite a bit from enrollment in any of the following plans.

Medicare Supplement insurance plans A, D, K, and L provide varying benefits at varying costs. What these plans have in common, however, is that each of them can help prevent you from having to pay any part of the Medicare Part A coverage gaps whatsoever. That means that your hospitalizations, blood transfusions, and skilled nursing care could potentially be handled hassle-free, rather than by paying thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses. Unfortunately, these plans only provide benefits related to the coverage gaps of Medicare Part A. In order to secure coverage benefits related to the coverage gaps of Medicare Part B, you will have to look into one of the remaining Medigap plans.

Medicare Supplement plan types B, C, F, G, M, and N all help to bridge the coverage gaps of both Medicare Part A as well as Medicare Part B. That means that the bulk of your healthcare needs will be completely covered, making it possible for you to enjoy the access to healthcare that you both need and deserve without having to worry about paying thousands of dollars each year in out-of-pocket expenses. From emergency services to hospitalizations, with Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B both covered, you can regain a strong percentage of your financial and personal independence. If you’re looking to enroll in Medigap Plan F, though, you’ll need to hurry. As long as you get enrolled before the end of 2020, you may be able to get grandfathered into a policy and keep your comprehensive benefits for many years to come. But come January 1, 2021, you’ll have to settle for something less comprehensive like Plan G or Plan C.

Many seniors worry that, upon enrolling in a Medigap plan, they will still have no coverage for prescription drugs, dental care, or vision care. That worry, though well-founded, is not entirely accurate. It is true that there is no way to add those coverage options directly to your Medigap plan, but it is quite easy to obtain access to those coverage options indirectly. For prescription drug coverage, you can apply for enrollment in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. That plan tends to provide enough benefits to meet the prescription needs of most seniors. For dental and vision care coverage, you can simply call a local provider and enroll in a dental and vision care plan through that private provider. These options are both easy and inexpensive, making it possible for you to exert more control over your coverage while on Medigap than on Original Medicare.

Now more than ever, it is critically important that you take control of your insurance. As medical costs are rising and your risk of developing new or worsening symptoms is increasing, your financial and personal independence hang in the balance. By enrolling in a proper insurance program today, you can protect yourself, your finances, and your future against any unforeseen medical circumstances. To do so, simply contact us here at Medigap.com and begin shopping for the plan that is right for you. Your future healthcare security is only a click away!

Medigap Plan Minimum Monthly Premium Maximum Monthly Premium Average Estimated Monthly Premium (Part B Premium Included)
Plan A $68 $222 $281
Plan B $104 $252 $314
Plan C $121 $287 $340
Plan D $116 $233 $310
Plan F $109 $266 $323
Plan F (high deductible) $28 $76 $188
Plan G $94 $195 $280
Plan K $41 $92 $202
Plan L $74 $129 $237
Plan M $109 $146 $263
Plan N $74 $186 $266
by Lindsay Malzone, Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare expert for Medigap.com. She's been contributing to many well-known publications as an industry expert since 2017. Her passion is educating Medicare beneficiaries on all their supplemental Medicare options so they can make an informed decision on their healthcare coverage.