Arkansas Medicare Plans
In Arkansas around 630,428 residents as of December 2018 is enrolled in Medicare plans, which is nearly 21% of the state’s population. As per the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services data some interesting trends regarding Medicare Plans in Arkansas:
- In 2018, around 76% of Arkansas residents were enrolled in Original Medicare and the remaining 24% were enrolled in Medicare Advantage or another type of coverage.
- All Arkansas residents enrolled in Original Medicare also have enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan in 2018.
- Most of the Arkansas residents around 88% enrolled in Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug benefits in 2018 also have access to Part D coverage with a lower premium than they paid in 2017.
- 70% of residents of Arkansas enrolled in Part D in 2018 to have coverage through a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
Original Medicare(Part A and Part B) is the government run program offering health coverage for seniors 65 and older along with some individuals having disabilities. Original Medicare works in the same manner in the entire country and so beneficiaries in this state will also have the same costs, benefits, and rules as other states. Residents of Arkansas only need to choose an insurance provider that accepts Medicare both in state as well as out of state. Medicare Part A covers inpatient services like hospital and skilled nursing stays along with limited home health care, and hospice care. Medications that are administered as part of the inpatient treatment in a Medicare approved facility is also covered in Part A. However it doesn’t include a private hospital room, personal items and round-the-clock nursing facility. Medicare Part B provides coverage for outpatient services, like physical examinations, lab tests, preventive screenings, durable medical equipment, mental health services, and participation in certain clinical research studies.
Medicare Part C or Advantage Plans
Arkansas residents who are eligible for Original Medicare are also eligible for Medicare Part D coverage and they may also be eligible for Medicare Advantage and Supplement plans. However, these plans can be availed only through private insurance companies associated with medicare. Medicare Part C is an another way of receiving the Original Medicare benefits excluding the hospice care benefits that is covered only with Part A. Medicare Part C coverage is provided through a private insurance company contracted with Medicare and choice of additional benefits of Medicare Advantage plan depend on the zip code where the service is availed and on the chosen plan.
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D plans provide stand-alone coverage that include the cost of prescription medications and do not include medical coverage. Part D is offered through private insurance companies approved by medicare. Residents in Arkansas can avail Part D plan in two ways, either by staying with Original Medicare and get a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan or can obtain a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans in Arkansas
Beneficiaries of Medicare Part A and Part B plan can also opt for Medicare Supplement insurance plans that help them pay out-of-pocket costs of Original Medicare. Also referred as Medigap plans, this plan is not designed to be a stand-alone plan and cannot be taken in place of Original Medicare. It also provides coverage to fill the gaps left by Part A and Part B costs like coinsurance, copayments and deductibles. Federal rules do not guarantee access to Medigap plans for individuals less than 65 but majority of states including Arkansas have implemented rules to ensure that disabled Medicare beneficiaries are provide some access to Medigap plans. Arkansas joined them in 2018 after a law was enacted in 2017 and insurance department was asked to amend the state’s rule so that individuals below 65 would be able to purchase Medigap coverage.