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Best Medicare Advantage Plans in Arkansas for 2020

You may have shopped for the best Medicare Advantage plans in Arkansas for 2020, but you might not be sure if you want to sign up for one of these policies after you are enrolled in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Enhancing your Original Medicare coverage is a good idea, and you’ll need to decide if you want to choose one of the Medicare Advantage plans in Arkansas (Medicare Part C) or one of the Medicare Supplement plans (Medigap) that are available. This guide is here to help Medicare beneficiaries in Arkansas and beyond learn a little more about Medicare Advantage plans. Then, you can determine if a Medicare Advantage plan might be the right health insurance option for you.

Overview of the Best Medicare Advantage Plans in Arkansas for 2020

When you rely on Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B alone without a plan to enhance it, then there are copayments (copays), coinsurances, deductibles and more that you have to pay in addition to the Medicare Part B premium. You could be worried about how these costs will add up when you need to go to the doctor or hospital, which is why you probably don’t want to rely on your Medicare benefits from Parts A and B alone.

Medicare Part C plans in Arkansas can help with this. These policies actually act as a replacement for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. For example, when you do go to the doctor or seek care from other healthcare providers, you’ll show your insurance card from your chosen insurance company instead of your Original Medicare card.

However, companies that offer Medicare Advantage plans in Arkansas for 2020 are required to provide their beneficiaries with certain benefits. Otherwise, they can’t participate in the federal Medicare program. Plus, many insurance plans include much more than what the U.S. government requires, such as Medicare prescription drug plans (Medicare Part D plans) and more.

If you’re going to be eligible for Medicare soon, it’s smart to compare policies now so that you will know which one to sign up for during your Medicare Advantage Enrollment Period. Policies vary from insurance company to insurance agency, so doing your research now is best so that you can buy the best plan.

Best Medicare Advantage Plans in Arkansas: When Can You Enroll?

You cannot just sign up for Medicare Advantage plans at any time, but you will have ample opportunities to purchase a Medicare Part C plan in Arkansas for 2020. These are the Medicare Enrollment periods during which Arkansas residents like you can sign up for a policy.

  • Medicare Initial Coverage Election Period ICEP: When you become a beneficiary of Medicare Part A and Part B, you will be given the opportunity to sign up for Medicare Advantage.
  • Medicare Annual Election Period AEP: From October 15 to December 7 of each year, you have the opportunity to sign up for, disenroll or change your Medicare Advantage policy for 2020.
  • Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period MADP: Now discontinued, this was once the period when you could disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan and go back to Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B).
  • Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period MA OEP: Beginning in 2019, this period will run from January 1 to March 31st of each year. This is another period when you can change your MA policy.
  • Medicare Special Election Periods SEP: In certain situations, you might find that you will need to shop for a policy outside of a standard Medicare Enrollment Period. If you were once dual-eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid but have lost your Medicaid coverage, an SEP will be triggered so you’ll have the opportunity to buy a policy. If you lose employer-sponsored coverage or move to another state, an SEP will be triggered as well.

Best Types of Medicare Advantage Plans in Arkansas for 2020

Before you are enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, you will want to start looking at the different types of policies so that you can pick a Medicare Advantage plan in Arkansas. You’ll want to compare the benefits of each Part C policy type and the rates for premiums to make the best choice for you.

PPO Preferred Provider Organization Plans (PPO) in Arkansas

  • There are provider network service areas
  • You can see a doctor or hospital outside of your insurance company’s network
  • If you stick to in-network doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers, you’ll pay less
  • No referrals are necessary

HMO Health Maintenance Organization Plans (HMO) in Arkansas

  • Monthly premiums are often lowest with these Medicare Part C policies in Arkansas. Some even have $0 premium, although you’ll want to check to see if you still have to pay the Medicare Part B premium.
  • Outside of emergency situations, you’ll have to see in-network providers
  • You must have a primary care doctor (PCP) and must see this doctor for referrals before you can see a specialist

Private Fee-for-Service PFFS in Arkansas

  • These private plans determine how much the insurance company pays and how much you pay
  • You do not have network restrictions

Special Needs Plans SNPs in Arkansas

  • People with chronic health conditions or institutional conditions, such as end stage renal disease ESRD, sign up for Special Needs Plans
  • Medicare Part D prescription drug plans must be included in these policies

Medicare Medical Savings Account MSA in Arkansas

  • These plans include high deductible health plans
  • A special savings account is included; funds from this savings account must be used on healthcare expenses

In addition to comparing these options, you may also want to talk to your insurance agent about other Medicare plans, like Medicare Supplement insurance. Then, you’ll know about all of your options.

Enrollment Figures for Arkansas Medicare Advantage Plans

  • The five largest counties in Arkansas are Pulaski, Benton, Washington, Sebastian and Faulkner.
  • There were 646,094 Medicare beneficiaries in Arkansas in 2018.
  • 143,714 of Medicare beneficiaries in Arkansas were enrolled in Medicare Advantage in 2018.

How Do Medicare Advantage Plans in Arkansas Cover Prescription Drugs?

There is a good chance that your Medicare Advantage plan will include Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, although this is not always the case. Make sure you compare the formulary and prescription drug tiers when looking at Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans so that you’ll know what is included. By choosing a policy that includes prescription drug coverage for 2020, you don’t have to worry about purchasing an additional stand-alone drug policy.

Network Restrictions for Medicare Advantage Plan in Arkansas?

One downside of a Medicare Advantage plan in Arkansas is the fact that network restrictions are often in place. After all, Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not have these restrictions. However, network restrictions don’t have to be a big deal, particularly if you understand how they work before becoming a beneficiary of a policy.

  • In-Network vs. Out-of-Network Within Coverage Area: HMO Medicare Advantage plans and PPO Medicare Advantage plans both cover out-of-network care in emergency situations. An HMO will not pay for out-of-network care in other situations, while a PPO will. If you use an out-of-network provider with a PPO, though, your out-of-pocket expenses will be higher
  • Traveling With Plan: With both health maintenance organization HMO plans or preferred provider organization PPO plans, emergency care is covered throughout the United States when you’re traveling. With a PPO, you can take advantage of out-of-network help even outside of emergency situations, although your costs will be higher.
  • Moving Across State Lines: Medicare Part A and Part B offer the same benefits in all 50 states, but Advantage policies are different. With Medicare Part C in Arkansas, you will need to change plans if you move.

Added Benefits of Medicare Advantage Plan in Arkansas

Neither Original Medicare nor any Medicare Supplements include these perks. However, many Advantage policies offer perks like these as a part of their rates:

  • 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 to and from 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 Arkansas 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 Arkansas.

These Providers offer some of the Best Medicare Advantage Plans in Arkansas for 2020

Our job is to help you find coverage from a company that you can trust. We have seen information from many of these Medicare Advantage plans companies, and we have become partial to a few of them over our time in this industry. Among the options for local seniors, these are some of the top providers for Medicare Part C plans in Arkansas that we have found:

  • Humana
  • USAble Mutual
  • Cigna
  • Care Improvement Plus
  • Coventry Health
  • Windsor Health Plan
  • Aetna
  • Windsor Health

All of these have offered reputable Medicare Advantage plans in Arkansas, are all top-rated and typically provide affordable rates.

Arkansas Medicare Resources

Check out these resources for additional information. You can also use our website or give us a call so that we can help you find a policy with top star ratings!