Best Medicare Advantage Plans in Oklahoma for 2019
Just about 125,000 state residents rely upon some of the best Medicare Advantage plans in Oklahoma for 2019 because they can help then control costs they might incur with Original Medicare. Even though Medicare Part A and Part B offer protection against most medical and hospital costs, these plans still have plenty of out-of-pocket expenses in the form of deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments for everything from doctor’s appointments to temporary skilled care in a nursing home. In addition, a Medicare Advantage plan in Oklahoma for 2019 may provide some benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t. Examples include Medicare Part D plan coverage and wellness benefits.
Best Time to Enroll in Medicare Advantage Plans in Oklahoma for 2019
An Oklahoma Medicare beneficiary has to be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B to choose a Medicare Advantage plan, sometimes referred to as Medicare Part C plans in Oklahoma. Otherwise, beneficiaries cannot have a prior diagnosis of End Stage Renal Disease ESRD. Beyond these two qualifications, it’s also important to learn when it is time to sign up for one of the best Medicare Advantage plans in Oklahoma:
- Initial Coverage Election Period: If you’re about to turn 65 and qualify for Original Medicare, you can choose a new Medicare Advantage plan for three months prior to, the month of, and three months after your 65th birthday.
- Annual Election Period: Beneficiaries get several weeks every fall to choose a new Medicare Advantage plan in Oklahoma. This period is often called Open Enrollment.
- Special Election Periods: If you lose your coverage, move out of town, or experience certain life events, you may qualify for a Special Election Period.
- Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period: After New Year’s Day, you get a few weeks to drop your Medicare Advantage plan, keep Original Medicare, and enroll in a new Part D plan if you need drug coverage.
Note that after you have enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan in Oklahoma, the insurance company will send you a new identification card. You will usually use this card for services instead of the card for Medicare Part A and Part B.
Most Popular Choices for Medicare Advantage Plans in Oklahoma for 2019
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that every Medicare Advantage plan in Oklahoma is the same as all of the others. To help inform you as you compare plans, read this quick summary of common Medicare Advantage plan types:
Health Maintenance Organization HMO plans:
If you see a plan with a $0 premium, it is probably an HMO. About 64 percent of Oklahoma Medicare beneficiaries with a Medicare Advantage plan choose an HMO.
Preferred Provider Organization PPO plans:
A PPO may cost somewhat more, but it will also give you the best flexibility. About 33 percent of all Oklahoma MA members choose a PPO.
Special Needs Plans SNPs:
These Special Needs Plans are designed to help Medicare recipients deal with institutional conditions or chronic health conditions.
Most Oklahomans who get Medicare Part A and Part B and Medicaid select a Dual-Eligible plan.
End Stage Renal Disease ESRD plans:
People who have a diagnosis of ESRD can qualify for these special-needs plans.
Medicare Savings Account MSA plans:
This type of plan actually includes two parts. The first part is a high-deductible Advantage plan that may or may not come with prescription drug coverage. The second part is a savings account; you can withdraw money from this savings account as needed to cover health care costs until your deductible is paid.
Private Fee-for-Service PFFS plans:
Designed for those who don’t want to have service area restrictions when choosing healthcare providers, these are cost-sharing programs. They are often more expensive than some other Medicare Advantage choices in Oklahoma, though, because your coverage is determined by the insurance company and not by Medicare.
When choosing the best plans, you may want to look for an option that includes Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. A Medicare prescription drug plan comes with many Advantage plans and can save you a lot of money.
It’s also important to choose the right insurance company when signing up for an Advantage plan. Humana and Blue Cross Blue Shield are two options, but there are many other options with good star ratings, too.
Enrollment Statistics for Medicare Advantage Plans in Oklahoma
These statistics are for enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans in Oklahoma:
- Total number enrolled in Oklahoma Medicare Part C: 124,677
- Percentage of all Oklahoma Medicare beneficiaries enrolled: 18 percent
These are the largest counties in Oklahoma by population:
- Oklahoma County, Oklahoma: 787,958
- Tulsa County, Oklahoma: 646,266
- Cleveland County, Oklahoma: 279,641
- Canadian County, Oklahoma: 139,926
- Comanche County, Oklahoma: 121,526
Do Medicare Advantage Plans in Oklahoma Cover Prescriptions?
Medicare Part A and Part B only cover prescription medication in specific instances. Most of your choices for Oklahoma Medicare Advantage plans will also include Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans. This means that you get your health and drug benefits rolled into one plan. In some cases, you may even get a $0 premium for both kinds of coverage. This is one of the “advantages” that Part C may have for you over Original Medicare.
If you rely upon expensive medications, you should compare a few aspects of your drug plan to make sure you choose the best one:
- Drug formulary: This is simply the list of all of the prescriptions that the plan will typically cover.
- Prescription Drug tiers: An insurance company will pay benefits at different rates for various tiers of prescriptions, like generics, brand names, and specialty medicine.
Network Restrictions for Oklahoma Medicare Advantage Plans
One of the biggest differences between Medicare Part A and Part B and Part C is that Original Medicare doesn’t rely upon plan networks. If you have been enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, you may not have grown accustomed to checking a plan network for medical services.
Most Oklahoma Medicare Advantage plans are either PPOs or HMOs, so networks are very important. These are a couple of things that important to know before you choose the best Medicare Part C plan in Oklahoma for your needs:
- HMO’s usually come with the lowest premiums. In exchange for these modest rates, you have to adhere to strict network rules. They usually won’t cover out-of-network services unless they are for emergencies. You also need to choose a PCP, and this primary care doctor has to give you referrals to see specialists.
- PPO’s may charge less if you visit in-network providers; however, you can still get services covered by an out-of-network hospital or doctor at lower rates. You also don’t need a primary doctor to give you a referral for a specialist.
With either type of plan, you should check the network to ensure that you can find your local doctor, hospital, and other providers on the in-network list. A beneficiary will enjoy these Medicare Advantage plans the most when they help them conveniently access their favorite medical providers.
Top Companies For Medicare Advantage Plan in Oklahoma for 2019
Your comparison of Medicare Advantage plans for 2019 might include these companies:
- Coventry: Coventry offers both a PPO and an HMO that have earned high star ratings from Medicare for quality.
- Humana: Humana has enrolled slightly over one-quarter of members of Medicare Advantage plan in Oklahoma.
- Community Care: This smaller insurance company has a market share of 23 percent.
Do Medicare’s star ratings matter? At this point, there wasn’t information about any Medicare Advantage plans in Oklahoma with a 5-star rating. Still, some companies received star ratings over 4 stars. You might pay attention to updated star ratings for 2019 to see if any insurers in your local area have a 5-star rating as Open Enrollment approaches. These ratings can offer you a brief snapshot of how well the insurer has satisfied customers during the current year.
Oklahoma Medicare Resources
If you still need to sign up for Medicare, these resources can help. You can learn about signing up for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B and about paying your Part B premium. You can also learn about the different types of Medicare plans that are available and what these health plans can do for you.
- Oklahoma Low-Income Subsidy
- Oklahoma Aging Services
- CMS: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Having the right health insurance can make a big difference when it comes to your out-of-pocket health care costs. If you’d like to have more coverage than what the Medicare program offers, we want to help. One of our insurance agents can talk to you about stand-alone Medicare Advantage plan options in Oklahoma for 2019 and Medicare Supplement plans. We can talk to you about the type of coverage that you’re looking for and how much you’re willing and able to spend on your monthly premiums. Then, we’ll help you make the right choice. Call our phone number today so that we can get started!