Medicare Supplement Plans in Colorado
Medicare Supplement plans in Colorado help seniors defray healthcare costs that Original Medicare does not cover. Medicare parts A and B pay approximately 80 percent of covered expenses. Each beneficiary is expected to pay the other 20 percent. Medicare Supplement insurance, also known as Medigap, covers deductibles, coinsurance and other costs that fall in the remaining 20 percent. Medicare Supplement plans in Colorado are sold by authorized private insurers. Although the benefits of each plan are standardized and must be the same no matter who sells the policy, each insurer can set its own rates.
What does a Medicare Supplement plan in Colorado cover?
• Medicare Part A coinsurance and additional hospitalization costs
• Part A hospice care
• Part B co-payments
• The first three pints of blood
Some cover additional expenses:
• Medical costs incurred while traveling abroad
• Part A deductible
• Skilled nursing home coinsurance
Thier are eight Medicare Supplement plans in Colorado that pay 100 percent of covered medical services after the annual out-of-pocket limit is satisfied for Original Medicare parts A and B.
Colorado Medicare Facts and Statistics
As of 2015, there were 54,347,667 Medicare beneficiaries nationwide. Colorado ranked 26th in the nation in the number of beneficiaries, with 786,473 people enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. The majority, 682,545, qualified because of age. However, there were 103,929 people who qualified for Medicare in Colorado because of disabilities.
Percentage of people aged 65 or older in these five Colorado counties as of 2016:
• Jefferson County 15.6 percent
• Arapahoe County 12.5 percent
• El Paso County 12.2 percent
• Denver County 11.1 percent
• Adams County 10 percent
In 2015, 164,638 people had a Medicare Supplement plan in Colorado. The three most popular are:
• Plan F: 119,380 enrollees
• Plan N: 13,336 enrollees
• Plan G: 11,777 enrollees
How Rates Are Calculated for Medicare Supplement Plans in Colorado
There are several factors that affect the cost of Medicare Supplement policies. Each insurance company can set its own price, so it is important to compare quotes. In addition, rates may vary according to where you live within the state, your habits, your gender and your age. A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that premiums were approximately 52 percent higher for an 80-year-old than a person 65. Medigap plan rates were approximately 8 percent higher for men aged 65 than women aged 65. Premiums for smokers were approximately 12 percent higher than those for non-smokers. Premiums may also reflect the cost of care in your area.
Costs of Medicare Supplement Plans are calculated in three ways:
Premiums increase as you age.
Premiums are based on your age when you first buy the policy. Although rates may increase because of factors such as inflation, increases will not be based on your age.
Premiums are the same for all policyholders regardless of age.
The majority of Medicare Supplement plans sold in Colorado are attained-age. However, community and issue-age policies are also available. Attained-age policies may be less expensive when you are younger. The disadvantage is that the cost increases as you age.
Because each insurance company can set its own rates for Medicare Supplement plans in Colorado, it pays to compare quotes. Although the benefits covered under each plan are standardized according to federal law, some companies add additional services such as 24-hour hotlines. Be sure to review the benefits covered for each plan, and see whether the company has included other services.
Available Medicare Supplement Plans in Colorado
There are 10 Medicare Supplement plans available in the U.S., and all are sold in Colorado. Each offers a different level of coverage. Plans are designated by letters A through N, excluding letters E, H, I and J. In addition, there is a high-deductible option for Plan F. Remember that lettered Medigap plans are different than the lettered parts of Original Medicare.
Do Medicare Supplement Plans in Colorado Cover Prescriptions?
Prescription drugs are not covered by Medicare Supplement plans in Colorado. If you would like prescription drug coverage, you can purchase a Medicare prescription drug plan, called Medicare Part D, separately.
When Can I Enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan in Colorado?
Usually, people enroll in Medicare Supplement plans when they enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B. This initial enrollment period is the best time to select a Medigap plan. You have six months from the beginning of the month of your 65th birthday or from when you enroll in Medicare Part B to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan in Colorado with guaranteed issue rights. During this Medigap open enrollment period, an insurer must sell you a policy regardless of your health.
If you wait until this six-month period is over, you lose your guaranteed issue rights, and insurance companies are not required to sell you a policy. They may increase the cost of premiums, exclude costs for pre-existing conditions or impose a waiting period before coverage starts.
There are a few circumstances where guaranteed issue rights apply even when you are not in your Medigap initial enrollment period:
• If the company underwriting the Medicare Supplement plan goes bankrupt, has not followed the rules or ends coverage for reasons beyond your control.
• You are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan and move out of the coverage area.
• If you have Original Medicare and are ending coverage in a qualifying group health plan.
• You dropped a Medigap plan to enroll in an MA Plan but want to switch back within a year of joining.
Each Medicare Supplement plan in Colorado is guaranteed renewable as long as you continue to pay the premiums.
Can I Use a Colorado Medicare Supplement Plan Other States?
One of the best features of a Medicare Supplement plan is that you can use the plan with any doctor, hospital or medical facility anywhere in the U.S. that accepts Medicare. There are no provider networks, and referrals are not required. If you move to another state, you can take the policy with you. However, if you move, the cost of the policy may change.
Colorado Medicare Resources
There is general information about senior healthcare and Medicare in Colorado here: Colorado Senior Health Care
Insurance companies selling Medicare Supplement plans in Colorado are required to sell them to people under 65 with disabilities. This website provides detailed information about policies, providers, and rates for all beneficiaries: Colorado Medigap Guide