Medicare Supplement Plans in Rhode Island
Once you’re enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, you have the option of enhancing your Medicare coverage by signing up for a Medicare Supplement plan in Rhode Island. These plans are often referred to as Medigap policies because they cover the “gaps” or out-of-pocket expenses that are left after Original Medicare is billed. This may include deductibles, copayments and coinsurance charges. Medicare Supplement policies may also include overseas emergency health coverage.
Selecting the best Medigap plan for your individual needs isn’t always easy. This information will keep you informed, allowing to understand the Medicare Supplement plans in Rhode Island in greater depth. This information should make it easier to compare rates and select the best Medicare Supplement plan for you.
Medicare Supplement Plans in Rhode Island: Enrollment Statistics
- The five largest counties in Rhode Island include Providence County, Kent County, Washington County, Newport County and Bristol County.
- In 2015, there were more than 200,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Rhode Island. This means approximately 19 percent of the state’s population was enrolled in Original Medicare. This number was reduced to fewer than 120,000 beneficiaries in 2017.
- In 2015, more than 45,000 Rhode Island Medicare beneficiaries were also enrolled in Medigap policies.
- With more than 14,000 enrollees, Medigap Plan F was the most popular policy for Rhode Island beneficiaries in 2015.
How Are Rates Calculated for Medicare Supplement Plans in Rhode Island?
Factors that may impact the rates that you’re quoted for a Medicare Supplement plan in Rhode Island, including:
- Zip code
- Smoking habits
The extent to which your age impacts your premium depends on the method used by your insurance company to generate rates for each Original Medicare beneficiary. There are three options available to insurance carriers offering Medicare Supplement plans in Rhode Island:
Your current age influences your current rate. As you get older, you can expect your Medigap plan to become more expensive.
Your age at the time of enrollment always impacts your rate. You don’t receive incremental increases in your premium due to your advancing age.
All enrollees receive the same rate regardless of age. Rates still vary between each Medicare Supplement plan.
Attained-age Medigap policies are the most common in Rhode Island. It’s sometimes difficult to find plans that use community rating. You may receive additional discounts for paying in advance, allowing automatic bank withdraws or meeting other qualifications specified by your chosen insurance company. This is why it’s so important to compare rates for each Medicare Supplement plan in Rhode Island.
Which Medicare Supplement Plans are Available in Rhode Island?
There are currently 10 Medigap plans available to Rhode Island Medicare beneficiaries. Plan F comes with a high-deductible option, and that is often counted as an 11th option. Each of these plans is designated by a letter, A-N, and each plan is standardized by the federal government. This means that all plans with the same letter will offer the same benefits regardless of your chosen insurance company.
Not all insurance companies will offer every Medicare Supplement plan in Rhode Island. Depending on which plan you select, you may have limitations on the number of carriers offering that plan.
Do Medicare Supplement Plans Cover Prescription Drugs?
Medigap plan premiums do not include coverage for prescription drugs. Once you’re enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, you have the option of enrolling in Medicare Part D. This is the Medicare part designated for prescription drug expenses, and it comes with a separate premium from your Medicare Supplement plan.
You can compare rates for your Medicare prescription drug plan just as you compare Medigap rates. The benefits offered can vary from one insurance company to another, but every Medicare beneficiary is guaranteed a policy upon application.
Medicare Supplement Plans in Rhode Island: When Can I Enroll?
You can apply for a Medicare Supplement plan in Rhode Island anytime after you enroll in Medicare Part B, but you will have to go through underwriting and answer questions regarding your medical history if you don’t apply during the initial enrollment period or a special enrollment period. Outside of these enrollment periods, the insurance company can increase your rate based on your medical history, or they can decline your application for coverage.
Your initial Medigap open enrollment period starts on the first day of the month in which you turn 65. It stays open for six months, and you’re guaranteed enrollment without answering any medical questions during that period. As long as premiums are paid on time, insurance companies cannot cancel Medicare Supplement plans at any time if they were secured during the initial enrollment period.
Can I Use My Rhode Island Medicare Supplement Plan In Other States?
One of the biggest benefits of enrolling in Medicare Supplement plans is the freedom to choose your medical professionals regardless of where they practice. While your zip code does impact your premium and you may experience a rate change if you move to a new state, you can see any doctor that accepts Medicare regardless of zip codes or state boundaries.
Rhode Island Medicare Resources:
- Rhode Island Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) – community program offering free counseling for all Medicare beneficiaries, including those with Medicare Supplement plans
- The Point – free service offering assistance to Rhode Island seniors over the age of 60
- Rhode Island Medicare Premium Payment Program – low-income seniors may qualify for premium payment assistance