Understand Medicare in Florida
Medicare, the United States federal medical insurance program, provides coverage for about 2.4 million people in Florida who qualify for Medicare. You can get Medicare if you’re 65 or older or have a qualifying disability.
Your disability typically qualifies if you’ve received at least 24 Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) disability insurance payments. You can also enroll in Medicare Advantage Plans if you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Most people have premium-free Part A but, if you have to buy it, the cost can reach up to $499 per month in 2022. Part B costs $170.10 per month but can be more if you have higher income. There are 254 Medicare Advantage Plans in the state that are an alternative to Original Medicare. Learn more about your Medicare options in Florida.
Medicare Plans in Florida
|Compare ratings of Florida’s Medicare plan providers:|
|Insurance company||Medicare rating||A.M. Best rating||BBB rating||NCQA rating||J.D. Power ranking|
|Aetna||4 stars||A||A+||2.5 to 4.5 stars||Fifth out of 10|
|Humana||4 stars||A-||A+||1.5 to 4.5 stars||Third out of 10|
|UnitedHealthcare||3.5 stars||A-||A-||4 stars||Fourth out of 10|
Medicare Plan Options in Florida
Residents of Florida have multiple Medicare plans to choose from. Many are tiered to help Floridians find the plan that is best suited to your lifestyle and medical needs. For example, seniors and individuals with disabilities who don’t need much coverage can apply for Original Medicare. Florida’s Medicare Advantage program might be a better option if you need more comprehensive insurance. Some Medicare policies offer additional prescription drug add-ons or supplementary coverage.
|Original Medicare (Parts A and B)||Original Medicare is the basic Medicare plan, which is a fee-for-service form of insurance. It has two parts: Part A hospital insurance and Part B medical insurance. Part A covers hospital stays and periods spent at skilled nursing facilities, lab tests an individual has performed, and hospice care. Part B covers doctor’s office visits and home health care services. It may also cover some preventive care, such as screenings for cancers and mental illnesses, including depression. With Original Medicare, you’ll pay a deductible along with your share of the fees incurred during an inpatient or outpatient visit:
|Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)||Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Part C, are an alternative to Original Medicare offered by private insurance companies. These plans include both Part A and Part B coverage, except for hospice care. Most services are provided by network providers, and you may need primary care physicians, referrals for specialists, and prior authorizations for treatment and medications. Medicare Advantage offers additional coverage for essential needs, such as prescription drugs, dental and vision care. Some Medicare Advantage Plans also cover gym memberships and transportation to and from medical appointments. Part C may also pay for adult day care services:
|Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Plans (Part D)||Many Medicare Advantage policies add Part D drug coverage automatically to their package, but you can also add Medicare prescription drug coverage to Original Medicare. Medicare prescription drug coverage is offered to all Medicare enrollees, but you may have to pay a penalty if you wait to enroll after being initially eligible. Medicare Part D plans may not all cover the same drugs or have the same costs as Medicare Advantage policies. Standalone Part D coverage is provided by Medicare-approved private insurers. Most plans require a deductible and a copay for each prescription drug:
|Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans (Medigap)||Some Florida seniors purchase a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy, also known as Medigap. These plans are intended to fill in the gaps Original Medicare doesn’t cover. Some of these gaps include medical coverage while overseas, Part A and Part B copays, and excess Part B charges. Medigap doesn’t pay for anything related to Medicare Advantage. You cannot have a Medigap plan and a Medicare Advantage Plan at the same time.
Medicare in Florida by the Numbers
|People enrolled in Original Medicare||Average plan cost||Annual state spending per beneficiary||Spending per beneficiary compared to the national average|
|2,381,102||Plan A: $0 to $499 per month*
Plan B: $170.10 per month**
*Most people pay no premium, but this can vary depending on how long they paid Medicare taxes.
**This is the average number, but it can vary based on income.
Medicare Resources in Florida
Getting support can help when you’re making Medicare decisions. Georgia has numerous locations where enrollees can receive help through the State Health Insurance Program (SHIP), also known as Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders (SHINE). SHINE has counselors throughout the state that work with local nonprofits and public health agencies, as well as Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), to provide seniors with Medicare information.
Florida SHINE Department of Elder Affairs
SHINE counselors are available for free to provide information, ask questions, and educate you about Medicare and its programs.
Contact information: Website |800-963-5337
Senior Resource Alliance
The Florida Senior Resource Alliance can help you access a range of federal, state, and local services and programs, including Medicare. SRA is also there to answer questions.
Contact information: Website | (912) 285-6083 (Waycross Office), (912) 557-6687 (Reidsville Office), or (866) 552-4464 and press 4 (GeorgiaCares toll-free line)
Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation advocates for consumers and provides information to help you avoid scams and make wise decisions regarding insurance, including Medicare and its programs
Contact information: Website
Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida
The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida provides free Medicare assistance for Florida’s senior and disabled population, their families, and other beneficiaries. The organization serves Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee, and Sarasota counties. It is the state’s AGing and Disability Resource Center and can connect you with resources from adult day care and housing assistance to Medicare guidance.
Contact information: Website | (866) 413-5337