Best Medicare Advantage Plans in Tennessee for 2019
Are you seeking information about the best Medicare Advantage plans in Tennessee for 2019? This alternative to Medicare Part A and Part B is sometimes called Medicare Part C in Tennessee and may help reduce the risk of paying high deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, and other health care costs with Original Medicare.
While a Tennessee Medicare Advantage plan in 2019 might not suit every local Medicare beneficiary, it can provide a good value for many who want affordable monthly premiums — or who want no premium at all — but who also want to make sure that a lot of their health care costs are covered.
They’re also great for those who have expensive medication costs and who want a plan that includes Medicare Part D, which refers to the Medicare prescription drug plans that are available for some Medicare recipients.
Best Time to Enroll in Medicare Advantage Plans in Tennessee for 2019
Mostly, you only have to have enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B and be up to date on your Part B premiums in order to switch to a Medicare Advantage plan. The only health question for Medicare Advantage plans is about End Stage Rental Disease ESRD, and people who suffer from this disease will have a special plan that they can enroll in.
Otherwise, timing is everything when it comes to enrolling in some of the best Medicare Advantage plans in Tennessee for 2019. These are some scheduled enrollment periods to make a note of:
- Initial Coverage Election Period: If you get a chance to choose a Medicare Advantage plan when you first qualify for Original Medicare.
- Annual Election Period: Every year, you will get a few weeks in the fall to compare and switch plans.
- Special Election Periods: Certain circumstances, like moving away from the service area of your Medicare Advantage plan, will trigger a Special Election Period. If your insurance company does not complete its contract renewal with Medicare, this will trigger a Special Election Period as well.
- Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period: Starting at the beginning of January, you will have a few weeks to drop your Medicare Advantage plan in Tennessee and resume Original Medicare. Since Medicare Part A and Part B will not cover most prescription medication, can also enroll in Part D if you need it.
Here’s how you will usually use your Medicare Part C health benefits in Tennessee: Once you have a Medicare Part C plan, you will get a new card from your insurance company. Use that card most of the time instead of the card you got for enrolling in Medicare Part A and Part B.
Best & Most Popular Medicare Advantage Plans in Tennessee for 2019
You should compare a handful of local options to find the best Medicare Advantage plan in Tennessee for 2019 for your budget, preferences, and needs. This highlights some basic facts about the most popular Tennessee plans:
Health Maintenance Organization HMO plans:
An HMO may offer modest or $0 premiums and low out-of-pocket costs. About two-thirds of Tennessee MA members enroll in an HMO.
Preferred Provider Organization PPO plans:
A PPO plan will give you more flexible options but probably cost somewhat more to join and use. About one-third of Tennessee Medicare Advantage plan members choose a PPO.
Special Needs Plans SNPs:
An insurance company might offer Special Needs Plans address specific medical needs, like institutional conditions or chronic health conditions.
People who have Medicaid and are enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B can join one of these plans.
End Stage Renal Disease ESRD plans:
These are special health plans for those who suffer from ESRD.
Private fee-for-service PFFS plans:
These Medicare Advantage plans in TN usually aren’t very popular but do have one benefit — you don’t have to worry about network restrictions. With most Advantage plans, though, Medicare tells the insurance agency what it must cover. With these plans, this is not the case. Because of this, some customers find that their costs are higher.
If you find that a Medicare Advantage plan is not the right choice for you, you can still look into other options. There are also 10 Medicare Supplement plans that you can choose from. These are not stand-alone plans like Medicare Advantage; instead, they work with Medicare. They don’t include prescription drug coverage and their monthly premiums can be more expensive, but they don’t have network restrictions. If you talk to one of our licensed insurance agents, we can give you a complete description of the benefits of both Medicare Advantage plans and Supplement plans and can help you make the right choice. Then, we’ll help you find a plan through a company with top star ratings so that you’ll have reliable and affordable coverage.
Enrollment Statistics for Medicare Advantage Plans in Tennessee for 2019
If you are considering a Medicare Advantage plan in Tennessee, these enrollment statistics might be interesting. As you can see, there are a lot of people in Tennessee who have signed up for Medicare plans through various health insurance companies like Humana.
- Percent of Tennessee Medicare beneficiaries with MA: 36%
- Number of Tennessee Medicare beneficiaries with MA: 465,345
Also, these are the five biggest Tennessee counties by population. The majority of Tennessee residents who have Medicare coverage live in these counties. This is where you’ll have the most plan options to choose from when shopping for insurance plans, and these counties typically have more health care providers, too. However, you can purchase Medicare Advantage or a Medigap plan if you live in any county in Tennessee.
- Shelby County, Tennessee: 936,961
- Davidson County, Tennessee: 691,243
- Knox County, Tennessee: 461,860
- Hamilton County, Tennessee: 361,613
- Rutherford County, Tennessee: 317,157
How Medicare Advantage Plans in Tennessee for 2019 Cover Prescriptions
Most of the time, Tennessee Medicare Advantage plans include Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans. This means you can get prescription coverage from the same plan that gives you health benefits. You may benefit by getting low or even $0 premium rates for both kinds of coverage too. A beneficiary with only Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B won’t get most prescriptions covered by Original Medicare, so that why prescription drug plans are important.
It’s important to make sure you get the best drug plan for your needs, so these are some things you will need to compare:
- The plan formulary: A formulary is simply a list of the drugs that the plan will typically cover. They may make pre-approved exceptions in special cases.
- The Prescription Drug tiers: Typically, the insurance company will have different coverage schedules for generics and brand-name drugs.
Network Restrictions for Tennessee Medicare Advantage Plans
While premiums may be important to you, you should also know about network restrictions. Depending upon where you live, your preferences, and your favorite doctor, skilled nursing facility or hospital, you might decide to pay a bit more for additional flexibility to choose services that are outside of the provider network sometimes.
Almost all of the best Medicare Advantage plans in Tennessee are network plans, so this is something to learn about if you are used to Medicare Part A and Part B. Original Medicare does not use networks, and neither does Medicare Supplement insurance if this is something you’ve had or researched in the past.
- With an HMO, you should expect to get virtually all covered services from in-network providers. They will only cover out-of-network bills in emergencies or in very limited circumstances.
- With a PPO, you will get the best rates from an in-network doctor or hospital, but you can still get covered outside of the network.
In addition, an HMO will expect you to have a primary care doctor to give you referrals to specialty doctors and other services. With a PPO, you don’t need a PCP. If you plan to travel, you may find some PPOs with regional or national networks. If you move away from the plan’s service area, you will trigger a Special Enrollment Period that will allow you to choose a new plan too.
Companies Offering Medicare Part C Plans in Tennessee for 2019
A variety of Tennessee health insurance companies will provide Medicare Advantage plans. You may find it helpful to compare some major players with Tennessee:
- Tennessee Blue Cross: The Tennessee Blue Cross insurer has enrolled about 28 percent of all Medicare Part C plan members in the state.
- Humana: Humana is relatively popular in this state, with about 29 percent of total MA enrollment. Along with Cariten Health Plans, Humana offers some HMOs with good star ratings and low deductibles.
- Aetna: If you want a PPO in Tennessee, you might consider Aetna.
Are there any Medicare Advantage plans in Tennessee with a 5-star rating? At this time, there wasn’t any published information about local Medicare Advantage plans that had earned a 5-star rating for performance from Medicare. You might pay attention to these star ratings during 2019 Open Enrollment to check for updates.
Tennessee Medicare Resources
If you’re ready to enroll in Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan in Tennessee, these authority resources can help you look for assistance programs and maximize your benefits:
- Tennessee Extra Help for Medicare
- Caregiver Support
- CMS: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
After you’re signed up, it’s time to start looking for different plans. Give us a call, and we’ll be more than happy to talk to you and help you find and enroll in the best Medicare Advantage plan in Tennessee that is right for you!