Best Medicare Advantage Plans in Colorado for 2019
An increasing number of state residents who qualify for Medicare Part A and Part B have also enrolled in the best Medicare Advantage plan in Colorado for their needs and budget. Besides offering an alternative way of controlling the coinsurance, deductibles, and copays from Original Medicare, a Colorado Medicare Advantage plan for 2019 may also provide some extra benefits. Enrollment in local Medicare Advantage plans has increased by about five percent since just last year. Take a moment to learn more about the way that Medicare Part C works in Colorado.
Best Time to Enroll in Medicare Advantage Plans in Colorado for 2019
In order to qualify for a Medicare Advantage plan in Colorado for 2019, you have to already be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B and must be paying your Medicare Part B premium. Besides having Original Medicare, you also cannot suffer from End Stage Renal Disease ESRD. If you do suffer from ESRD, you can enroll in Special Needs plans that address this serious health condition.
In addition to qualifying for Medicare Part A and Part B, you also need to keep track of the times that you can enroll in Medicare Part C Plan in Colorado:
- Initial Coverage Election Period: When you are first enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, you have a few months to join a Medicare Advantage plan in Colorado.
- Annual Election Period: In the fall, you have several weeks to compare Medicare Advantage plans in Colorado and join or switch plans.
- Special Election Periods: Specific circumstances, like moving away from your local network, can trigger Special Election Periods.
- Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period: This was the period at the start of each new year when a Medicare beneficiary could drop their Medicare Advantage plan, resume Original Medicare, and enroll in Part D. The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period may be phasing out in exchange for an extra Annual Election Period.
To use Colorado Medicare Advantage plans, you will usually present your new ID card from your insurance agency instead of the Medicare Part A and Part B card.
Best Types Medicare Advantage Plans in Colorado for Different Member’s Needs
You shouldn’t make the mistaking of assuming that each Medicare Advantage plan in Colorado will work exactly the same as any other choices. Your preferences for a doctor, hospital, premiums, and many other factors may go into your decision.
Some highlights of the most popular Colorado Medicare Advantage plans include:
Health Maintenance Organization HMO plans:
A Medicare beneficiary might choose an HMO for good cost control and sometimes, a $0 premium. Over 80 percent of all Colorado Medicare Advantage plan enrollment for 2019 goes to a Medicare Advantage plan HMO.
Preferred Provider Organization PPO plans:
A PPO Medicare Advantage plan in Colorado will offer the best flexibility when compared to an HMO, but it will usually have higher associated costs and premiums. Just under 10 percent of Coloradans choose a PPO for their Medicare Advantage plan.
Special Needs Plans SNPs:
People with certain chronic health conditions or institutional conditions might opt for Special Needs Plans.
People who qualify for Medicare Part A and Part B and Medicaid can enroll in Dual-Eligible plans.
Private fee or PFFS plans do not have the network restrictions that most Medicare Advantage plans have. However, you may experience higher costs. Instead of being required by Medicare to pay a certain amount for services, insurers determine what they will and will not pay with these plans.
Enrollment Statistics for Medicare Advantage Plans in Colorado
These are some of the best enrollment statistics for Colorado Medicare Advantage plans in 2019 that we could find:
- Number of Coloradans enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans: 309,369
- Percent of all Colorado Medicare recipients with Medicare Advantage: 37
- The most popular choice for Colorado Medicare Part C: HMO
These are the most populated Colorado counties:
- Denver County, Colorado: 704,621
- El Paso County, Colorado: 699,232
- Arapahoe County, Colorado: 643,052
- Jefferson County, Colorado: 574,613
- Adams County, Colorado: 503,167
Do 2019 Medicare Advantage Plans in Colorado Cover Prescriptions
Not all of the best Medicare Advantage plans in Colorado include a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans, but most of them will contain Part D plans. As a note, Medicare Part A and Part B will only cover your prescription medication in very limited circumstances, so this may be a valuable benefit you can enjoy for enrolling in Medicare Part C plan in Colorado.
In order to make the most of a Medicare plan with Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, you should always take the time to compare the way it covers your prescriptions. You can find the formulary or list of covered drugs. In addition, make a note of the Prescription Drug tiers, such as different coverage for generics vs. brand-name prescriptions.
Understanding Network Restrictions for Colorado Medicare Advantage Plans
Original Medicare does not rely upon plan networks, but most Medicare Advantage plans do. With Original Medicare, it might be important to look for healthcare providers who accept Medicare Assignment to make certain that you won’t get billed more than you expect.
It’s important for beneficiaries to understand how a network can help them save money but also might impose some restrictions upon their choice of a doctor, hospital, or other healthcare services. The best Medicare Advantage health plans for 2019 will balance monthly premiums against the accessibility of quality medical providers.
These are some things for beneficiaries to compare for different kinds of coverage types:
- With an HMO, you have to get virtually all medical services from an in-network provider. You also need to choose a PCP, or primary care doctor, to give you a specialist referral. If you find a plan with $0 premium rates, it is probably an HMO.
- With a PPO, you don’t need a PCP. The plan will also cover out-of-network providers, but you will have to pay more unless you visit in-network providers. In return for somewhat higher premiums and costs, you can enjoy more flexibility with a PPO.
Again, you should look for your favorite providers within the plan network to make sure you will be comfortable using it. Also, if you intend to travel, you may find some PPOs that have regional or even nationwide provider networks. Again, you need to balance the flexibility you want against the rates to find the best 2019 Medicare Part C choice in Colorado for yourself so that you can minimize out-of-pocket costs.
Of course, before you make the decision to sign up for a stand-alone health insurance plan, you’ll want to be aware of all of your plan options. Some Colorado residents choose to supplement their standard Parts A and B Medicare benefits with a Medicare Supplement. Also available through private insurance companies, Medicare Supplement insurance does not have network service area restrictions. However, these plans don’t include Medicare prescription drug plans or some of the other benefits of Advantage plans. Talking to an insurance agent to choose the right choice for you is important.
Top Providers for Medicare Part C Plan in Colorado for 2019
As applies to many states, the largest Colorado Medicare insurance companies have attracted the majority of Medicare Advantage plan members. The top three providers of Medicare Part C Plans in Colorado have split about 88 percent of all of the members:
- Humana: Humana enrolled about 13 percent of MA members in the state.
- Kaiser: Just about one in three Medicare Advantage plan members chose Kaiser in Colorado.
- Rocky Mountain: This small, Colorado insurer has offered some health plans with the highest star ratings in the state.
Medicare uses over 40 pieces of information about customer service, claims to handle, and wellness care to come up with a score. This rating gives Medicare recipients a quick reference to the insurer’s past performance, so they may know what to expect in the future. At the time of publication, no insurers earned a 5-star rating from Medicare for plan quality.
Some of the major insurers have released statements that they expect their star ratings for best quality and performance to improve in the future. If you’re on the lookout for a Medicare Part C plan with a 5-star rating, keep your eyes open. New information typically will be release about Medicare Advantage Plans in Colorado for 2019 around Open Enrollment.
Best Colorado Medicare Resources
These Colorado government resources can help you make the most of your Medicare. Whether you are signing up for Medicare coverage for the first time or if you’re looking for a complete description of benefits, these links can help:
- Colorado Savings Programs
- Services for Older Adults
- CMS: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
After checking out these resources, you can check out our website or give us a call to find the best Medicare Advantage plan coverage in Colorado from a company with a top star rating. We’ll help you find the plan that suits your needs!