Best Medicare Advantage Plans in Alaska for 2020
Are you trying to find the best Medicare Advantage plan in Alaska for 2020 to fit your specific needs? If you’re going to be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B soon, then you might want to start checking out the pros and cons of Medicare Advantage plans in Alaska. Medicare Advantage plans in Alaska are purchased from private insurance companies and provide a sort of replacement coverage for Original Medicare Part A and Part B. Once you learn a little more about these plans, you might understand why so many Alaska residents who are Medicare beneficiaries sign up for this coverage. Plus, we make it easy to find and sign up for a Medicare Part C plan in Alaska from an insurance company with top star ratings on the Medicare rating system.
Overview of the Best Medicare Advantage Plans in Alaska for 2020
To be eligible for Medicare Part C in Alaska for 2020, you’ll have to be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B first. If you are going to be enrolling in Medicare soon, then now is the time to start shopping for a policy.
Medicare Advantage plans in Alaska vary from company to company and policy to policy. Not only do you need to compare your options so that you can find the best rates, but you also have to compare benefits to find the policy that is going to be best for you. Reading a complete description of benefits of any policy that you’re interested in and comparing your options with our assistance will help you sign up for the right policy.
Best Medicare Advantage Plans in Alaska: When Can You Enroll?
You might be wondering when you can sign up for your Medicare Advantage plan in Alaska. These are the periods when you can sign up for your policy:
- Medicare Initial Coverage Election Period ICEP: This is the Medicare Enrollment Period that you will be eligible for when you first sign up for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
- Medicare Annual Election Period AEP: During the AEP, which runs from October 15 to December 7, gives you a chance to sign up for, disenroll or change your Medicare Part C policy in Alaska for 2020.
- Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period MADP: This period refers to the time when Medicare beneficiaries were once able to go back to Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B), but it has been discontinued.
- Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period MA OEP: This period just started in 2019 and runs from January 1 to March 31st each year. During this time, those who have MA policies can change their coverage.
- Medicare Special Election Periods SEP: An SEP is triggered when special circumstances apply to your situation, such as when you move or lose your coverage through Medicaid or your employer. This gives you a chance to purchase a policy.
Best Types of Medicare Advantage Plans in Alaska for 2020
If you’re ready to become a beneficiary of a Medicare Part C plan, you’ll want to check out these types of Medicare Advantage plans. Then, you can determine which Medicare Advantage plan to sign up for during your Medicare Advantage enrollment period:
PPO Preferred Provider Organization Plans (PPO) in Alaska
- Has a provider network
- Offers lower pricing for beneficiaries who visit an in-network hospital or doctor, although you can seek care outside of your insurance company’s service area
- Referrals are not needed when you need to see a specialist
HMO Health Maintenance Organization Plans (HMO) in Alaska
- Although many plans do require a monthly premium for 2020, there are sometimes $0 premium options
- Requires you to see in-network providers
- Beneficiaries are required to see a primary care doctor (PCP) for referrals
Private Fee-for-Service PFFS in Alaska
- The Medicare Part C policy determines how much you pay and how much the company pays when you need to see a doctor or go to the hospital
- There are no network restrictions with these health plans
Special Needs Plans SNPs in Alaska
- Special Needs Plans are designed for individuals with some chronic health conditions or institutional conditions; end stage renal disease ESRD is one example
- Medicare Part D prescription drug plans are always included
Enrollment Figures for Alaska Medicare Advantage Plans
- The five largest counties in Alaska are Anchorage, Fairbanks North Star, Matanuska-Susitna, Kenai Peninsula Bourough and Juneau.
- There were 94,737 Medicare beneficiaries in Alaska in 2018.
- 746 of Medicare beneficiaries in Alaska were enrolled in Medicare Advantage in 2018.
Medicare Advantage plans are not as popular in Alaska as they are in many states. However, if you want to enjoy better coverage than what is offered by Original Medicare, you may want to look into your options for a Medicare Advantage plan.
Do Medicare Advantage Plans in Alaska Cover Prescription Drugs?
As a part of the premiums for your Medicare Advantage plan, a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan might be included. Not all Medicare Advantage plans include Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans, but it pays to look for one of these plan options to save on out-of-pocket expenses for medication.
Take a look at the prescription drug tiers and the formulary for each Medicare Part C plan in Alaska you are considering for 2020. After all, coverage does vary from company to company.
Network Restrictions for Medicare Advantage plan in Alaska?
Instead of paying the coinsurance, copayments and deductibles of Original Medicare, you may want to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan. However, you might be worried about dealing with network restrictions if you become a beneficiary of one of these policies. These are some of the things that you’ll want to know about network restrictions for different policies so that you can pick the best policy:
- In-Network vs. Out-of-Network Within Coverage Area: HMO Medicare Advantage plans in Alaska will pay for out-of-network care in emergency situations only. PPO Medicare Advantage plans will allow you to get out-of-network care, but you’ll have to pay more for it.
- Traveling With Plan: With both health maintenance organization HMO plans or preferred provider organization PPO plans, emergency care will be covered when you travel. With a PPO, you can take advantage of out-of-network help even outside of emergency situations. Again, though, you’ll have to pay more for it.
- Moving Across State Lines: Medicare Part A and Part B aren’t affected when you move, since they offer the same things in each state. However, this is not the case with Medicare Part C. Rates and policies are affected, so you’ll need to change policies. An SEP will be triggered so that you can shop for a plan after your move.
Added Benefits of Medicare Advantage Plan in Alaska
Many Medicare plans offer additional health care coverage to help you save on out-of-pocket costs. None of these things are included in the Medicare benefits from the U.S. government federal Medicare program or in any of the Medicare Supplement plans. However, your insurance agency might offer these perks as part of your Advantage health insurance policy. In fact, these extra perks sometimes persuade people to sign up for Advantage Medicare coverage instead of Medicare Supplement insurance.
Benefits vary between different insurance plans, but these are some of the perks that might be available:
- Hearing care, routine vision and dental care
- Wellness programs
- Silver Sneakers or other similar gym membership
- Recommendations for diet and nutrition
- Allowance for over-the-counter medication costs
- Healthy living seminars and classes
- Transportation for medical appointments
- Payment of some or all of the Medicare Part B premium
Here are a few changes for 2020:
- Starting in 2020, insurance companies that provide Medicare Advantage plans in Alaska will be able to add some supplemental non-health related benefits to certain beneficiaries, such as providing help with making structural changes to the home when needed. This is designed to help those who might need help with widening doorways or installing ramps for their homes.
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved a 2.53% payment increase to Medicare insurers that offer Medicare Advantage plans in Alaska.
Top Companies Offering Medicare Advantage Plans in Alaska for 2020
Kaiser reported on enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans all over the United States. They found that Alaska is one of a few states where PPOs are much more popular than HMOs. Since HMO networks might not serve people in remote areas very well, this trend will probably continue for Medicare Part C Plans in Alaska.
As you can see by the population, many of the biggest Alaska cities aren’t very large by the standards of the major cities in many other states:
- Anchorage, AL.: 298,695
- Juneau, AL.: 32,756
- Fairbanks, AL.: 32,325
- Eagle River, AL.: 24,793
Your options for Medicare Advantage Plans in Alaska for 2019 will vary by county. These providers should be active in the state in the coming year:
- Aetna: Has over half of the MA market in Alaska.
- Humana: Doesn’t appear to market MA in Alaska at this time.
- Cigna: Doesn’t appear to market MA in Alaska at this time.
Alaska Medicare Resources
You may want to learn more about Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B), or you might want to learn about Medicare Advantage plans and how they can help you. You could even be wondering if you’re dual-eligible for Original Medicare and Medicaid. For more information, check out these helpful resources:
- Extra Help for Alaska Medicare Beneficiaries
- CMS: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
You can also call and talk to one of our insurance agents about your plan options. From HMO to private fee-for-service plans, we can help you find the best Medicare Advantage plan in Alaska that is right for you so that you can save money when you see your health care providers. We can also help you shop for stand-alone Medicare prescription drug coverage (Medicare Part D plan) and more. Give us a call today or use our website for help.