Seniors age 65 and over in Tennessee should already be enrolled in the federal Medicare program, if they have not done so already. Medicare also referred to as “Traditional Medicare” or “Original Medicare, refers to Medicare Parts A and B. These two parts cover most of your medical needs, from hospital treatment to basic doctor visits.

Medicare Plans in Tennessee

Because most senior citizens are, in theory, retired and living on a fixed income, Original Medicare is designed to be as affordable as possible. Part B is usually the most expensive. It requires monthly premiums and a yearly deductible, both of which can be calculated on this page.

Part A, however, but be free if you have a long enough employment history. But in order to have access to free Part A benefits, you have to have been employed for at least 10 years (or 40 quarters) over the course of your lifetime. If not, then you may be required to pay additional fees.

Medicare Part A (Hospital Coverage)

  • Inpatient care in hospitals
  • Skilled nursing facility care
  • Hospice care
  • Home health care
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)

  • Services from doctors and health providers
  • Outpatient care
  • Home health care
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Some preventive services
Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage)

  • Includes all benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B
  • Usually includes Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) as part of the plan
  • Offered by Medicare-approved private insurance companies
  • May include extra benefits and services for an extra cost
Medicare Part D (Drug Coverage)

  • Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs
  • Run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies
  • May help lower your prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future

Supplemental Medicare Plans in Tennessee

There are over one million people living in Tennessee right now that are currently receiving Medicare benefits (1,109,791 to be exact). The more popular form of supplemental coverage is a Medicare Advantage policy, which 32% of all beneficiaries have (355,133 total).

15% of Medicare recipients are protecting themselves from Medicare coverage gaps with a Medigap supplement policy (or 166,518 recipients). Still, however, more than half – 53% of Medicare enrollees, or 588,189 people – have some other alternate supplement, perhaps through a work program, or no supplementation whatsoever.

Is Purchasing Additional Medicare Coverage Absolutely Necessary?

The answer to that question is different for every individual, and depends largely on your own personal circumstances. But for many individuals, supplemental coverage can be essential for mitigating huge medical bills. In the table below are examples of some of the “gaps” in Original Medicare that you would be expected to pay 100% out-of-pocket for a hospital visit or outpatient care.

Medicare Part A Costs in 2022 Medicare Part B Costs in 2022
  • Part A is premium-free for most
  • Part A deductible is $1,556 per benefit period
  • Inpatient hospital stay days 61-90 is $389
  • The standard Part B premium is $170.10
  • The annual deductible for Part B is $233
  • Medicare pays 80%, you pay 20% out-of-pocket

If you are closer to age 65 and feel as though you are in relatively good health, you may not think you need to compare Medicare plans in Tennessee. Unfortunately, unexpected health complications go up with age, when retirement incomes usually dwindle. But there are affordable ways to protect yourself, even on a fixed income. We’ll explore some of those options now.

Option #1: What is Medigap?

The term “Medigap” is a nickname of sorts. The first part – “medi” – references the policy’s connection to Medicare. The latter, “gap”, refers to the gaps in coverage that are problematic with Traditional Medicare, and the fact that Your Medigap policy is designed to protect you from them. There are ten plans total: A-D, F, G, and also K-N. Plans E, H, I and J were eliminated from the program due to the Medicare Modernization Act of 2010. By federal law, all 10 plans offer identical benefits in each state. Someone with a Medigap Plan D policy in Wyoming will have the exact same benefits as someone with a Plan D supplement in Tennessee – the only difference is the price they will pay, and the company which provides the coverage.

Below are the benefits you can expect from each supplement plan:

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.