Like many other cities in New Mexico, Rio Rancho can be a phenomenal place to retire. Between the clean desert air and the ample number of hospitals, medical centers, and doctors in the surrounding area, Rio Rancho has it all. Unfortunately, its seniors don’t. If you happen to rely on Original Medicare for your healthcare needs, then you risk falling prey to the high out-of-pocket expenses of the coverage gaps. Every year that you choose to stick with Original Medicare could potentially cost you thousands of dollars. That’s why many seniors in the Rio Rancho area have begun switching to Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement (a.k.a. Medigap) insurance plans.

Facts and Figures

  • There are 13,527 seniors living in Rio Rancho right now.
  • There are 5 hospitals and medical centers in the Rio Rancho area where seniors can get emergency and/or in-patient care.
  • 33% of New Mexico seniors have a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • 13% of New Mexico seniors have a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan.
  • Which leaves 54% of seniors potentially uninsured or underinsured against costly Medicare coverage gaps!

As the figures above show, an estimated 7,304 seniors in your area lack the proper level of insurance necessary to protect them against costly Medicare coverage gaps. Although this might seem fine at first glance, particularly if you are in tip-top shape with perfect health, the problem is far more severe than it appears. Perfect health today does not necessarily equate to perfect health tomorrow. Medical researchers have identified several “age-related illnesses” that become more prevalent in people as they age. Not only does your risk of being diagnosed with a new illness increase every single day, so too does the risk of your existing symptoms increasing in both frequency and severity. The chart below demonstrates this fact in action. As you can see, at least one in every four seniors in the Rio Rancho has some kind of age-related illness.

Disease Prevalence in Rio Rancho, NM
Arthritis 25%
High Blood Pressure 26%
Coronary Heart Disease 5%
Diabetes 9%
Kidney Disease 3%

Healthcare Costs in Rio Rancho, NM

Healthcare costs in Rio Rancho are dependent on the amount and type of treatment that you receive. As your illnesses progress and your health worsens, you will most likely need both more treatment and more advanced treatment options. That means that your healthcare costs will increase steadily alongside the frequency and severity of your symptoms. Unfortunately, that means that you will end up paying significantly more out-of-pocket each year as a result of Medicare coverage gaps. If medical costs continue to rise the way that they have been for decades, you can expect to continue to see a balloon-like effect begin to take a toll on your retirement savings accounts. Since seniors are now living longer lives than ever before, that effect has more time to “pump air” into the balloon, resulting in your medical bills adding up over time.

Disease Prevalence in Rio Rancho, NM Annual Cost of Treatment
Arthritis 25% $291
High Blood Pressure 26% $354
Coronary Heart Disease 5% $9,780
Diabetes 9% $2,163
Kidney Disease 3% $8,911

Medicare Advantage Savings in Rio Rancho, NM

Medicare Advantage plans are privately owned and operated and entirely replace your Original Medicare plan. That means that you will no longer be reliant on a government-operated plan and will instead be reliant on a privately-operated plan. Of course, the government still plays a major part in regulating what kind of coverage options you will receive. For example, the law requires that all Medicare Advantage plans provide the same minimum level of care as Original Medicare, meaning that you don’t have to worry about losing coverage options. Moreover, most providers of Medicare Advantage plans will also be willing to add additional coverage options directly to your Medicare Advantage plan in exchange for paying higher premiums. But since the government tends to take care of those premiums for you, you might not actually have to pay anything at all in order to obtain those additional coverage options.

One of the best of those additional coverage options is Medicare Advantage prescription drug coverage. These plans are designed to provide a wide variety of benefits related to both prescription medications as well as minor medical equipment. That can include generics as well as brand name medications and can even be expanded to cover things like glucose monitors and testing strips. If you rely on a large number of prescription medications in order to manage your symptoms, then you could potentially save quite a bit of money by switching to one of these plans. For example, seniors who suffer from age-related arthritis, high blood pressure, and/or diabetes can save thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars over a ten-year period.

Other additional coverage options include Medicare Advantage vision and dental care coverage. As the name suggests, these coverage options can be added directly to your Medicare Advantage plan, meaning that you won’t have to worry about dealing with multiple insurance providers like you do when on Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage. Since neither of those two other plans enable you to add vision and dental care coverage directly to your healthcare plan, you will have to search elsewhere in order to obtain those two categories of coverage.

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Savings in Rio Rancho, NM

The reason that these plans are called Medigap plans is because they are supplementary plans for Medicare designed to bridge the coverage gaps so that you don’t have to worry about those high out-of-pocket expenses. By enrolling in a Medigap plan, you avail yourself to the same exact benefits as in an Original Medicare plan, but without the risk of falling into the various coverage gaps. For example, every single one of the ten available plan types (A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N) provide some kind of coverage assistance related to paying for Medicare Part A coverage gaps, since those gaps can be particularly expensive for seniors suffering from age-related heart and/or kidney disease. That being said, it is helpful to divide these plan types into two separate categories in order to better understand their functions.

Medigap Plans A, D, K, and L only provide benefits related to Medicare Part A coverage gaps. When it comes to avoiding Medicare Part B coverage gaps, these plans are entirely useless. However, they can provide substantial benefit to seniors who have only been paying high out-of-pocket costs as a result of Medicare Part A coverage gaps. That means that you could enjoy worry-free access to treatments such as hospitalizations, blood transfusions, and skilled nursing care without wondering how you’re going to be able to afford the coverage gaps.

The remaining Medigap plan types (B, C, F, G, M, and N) not only provide similar benefits as those above but also a wide variety of benefits related to Medicare Part B coverage gaps. That means that these plan types could enable you to obtain reliable access to just about everything that Medicare Parts A and B have to offer without worrying about how you’re going to pay for the coverage gaps. Instead, your insurance will cover them, leaving you entirely insulated from their costly out-of-pocket expenses. That being said, it is important to know what changes are coming to the Medigap system. Medigap Plan F are not going to be offered anymore after 2020 for new enrollees. In order to obtain similar benefits, it would be best for you to speak with an expert to see which plan best suits your needs, though many seniors find that Medigap type C is a close-enough fix.

Medigap plans do not come with the option to add vision, dental, or prescription drug coverage directly to your plan. In order to obtain coverage for any of those three categories, you need to do a couple quick things. First, you can enroll in bundled vision and dental insurance from a provider who services the Rio Rancho area. This can be done at any time of the year, since vision and dental plans are not subject to the same open-enrollment legislation as health insurance. Second, you can enroll in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage in order to meet your prescription needs. Do be advised, however, that Medicare Part D still contains a coverage gap known as the “donut hole,” though few seniors ever end up paying into it.

Unfortunately, your health is going to worsen with time. With medical costs on the rise and new or worsening symptoms popping up seemingly every other day, you need to act soon. The longer you wait, the worse it gets, the more you will have to pay in terms of out-of-pocket costs as a result of the Medicare coverage gaps. So don’t delay! Sign up with today and get started shopping for the plan that’s right for you. The more you wait, the more you stand to lose by not switching to a more reliable insurance plan.

Medigap Plan Minimum Monthly Premium Maximum Monthly Premium Average Estimated Monthly Premium (Part B Premium Included)
Plan A $64 $200 $268
Plan B $86 $227 $292
Plan C $98 $258 $314
Plan D $91 $192 $277
Plan F $102 $215 $294
Plan F (high deductible) $26 $64 $181
Plan G $91 $171 $267
Plan K $40 $85 $198
Plan L $68 $105 $222
Plan M $88 $122 $241
Plan N $70 $148 $245


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by Lindsay Malzone, Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare expert for 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.