Medicare Plan Options
As an Indiana resident, you have several options when it comes to enrolling in Medicare. These include Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, and Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans. Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage cover essentials such as hospitalization, outpatient care, and durable medical equipment. Medicare Part D and Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans help with some of the costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover. The right plan for you depends on your budget and medical needs.
Original Medicare is made up of Part A and Part B coverage. Medicare Part A covers services provided in a hospital, skilled-nursing facility, or hospice facility. Part A also covers home health care. You may qualify for premium-free Part A if you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for a certain amount of time. To get Medicare Part A in Indiana, you must also apply for retirement benefits via the Social Security Administration or the Railroad Retirement Board. Medicare Part B covers preventive services, care provided at a doctor’s office or other outpatient facility, ambulance transportation, and durable medical equipment. It may also cover some screening tests. If you’re eligible for premium-free Part A, you’ll be able to enroll in Medicare Part B as soon as you qualify for Part A. If you’re not eligible for premium-free Part A, you may have to wait to enroll in Part B. When you have Part B coverage, you need to pay a monthly premium and an annual deductible, as well as coinsurance for most of the services you receive.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Indiana’s Medicare Advantage program, or Medicare Part C, offers you the opportunity to enroll in a Medicare-approved plan offered by a private insurance company. Each plan provides at least the same amount of coverage as Original Medicare, but one of the benefits of choosing Medicare Advantage is that these private plans may pay for services that aren’t covered by Medicare Part A or Part B. Your Medicare Advantage Plan may cover things like hearing aids, dental care, eye exams, and transportation to and from medical appointments. Plan premiums vary by location, the plan provider, and the types of services covered.
Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Plans
Original Medicare provides limited coverage for prescription drugs, so you may want to buy Medicare Part D, a supplemental plan that covers a wide variety of prescriptions. To be eligible for Part D, you must be enrolled in Original Medicare, not Medicare Advantage. Plan premiums vary based on several factors, including how much of a deductible you have to pay each year and what the copays are for each type of medication. Medicare Part D plans use a formulary to determine how much you pay out of pocket for each prescription.
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans
For many Indiana seniors, it’s difficult to afford the copays, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs that come with Medicare coverage. To make your costs more manageable, you may want to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan, also known as Medigap. The reason these plans are known as “Medigap” is because they cover some of the gaps in your Medicare coverage. If you need medical care while traveling in a foreign country, a Medigap plan may cover the costs. Medigap plans may also cover Part A and Part B copays. You’re only eligible for a Medigap plan if you have Original Medicare.
Medicare in Indiana by the Numbers
|People enrolled in Original Medicare||Average plan cost||Annual state spending per beneficiary||Spending per beneficiary compared to the national average|
|818,031||Plan A: $0 to $471 per month*
Plan B: $148.50 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 Indiana
If you’re newly eligible for Medicare, it can be difficult to compare plans and determine which one offers the most coverage at the most affordable price for your budget. The good news is, there’s no need to go through the enrollment process alone. Several Indiana organizations have counselors or volunteers on hand to educate you about your options and help you determine which plan is the best one for your needs.
Indiana State Health Insurance Assistance Program
The Indiana Department of Insurance and the Administration on Community Living operate the Indiana State Health Insurance Assistance Program to ensure residents have access to unbiased information on Medicare. Trained counselors are available to answer your questions and help you determine which Medicare plan gives you the best coverage for your medical needs. Counselors can also answer questions about Medicare Part D and Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans. SHIP counselors are volunteers who’ve received extensive training and understand the importance of offering objective advice.
Contact Information: Website | 800-452-4800
Indiana Division of Aging
In Indiana, the Family and Social Services Administration operates the Division of Aging, an agency dedicated to advocating for older adults living in Indiana communities. The main aim of the agency is to help older adults maintain their independence. Agency employees accomplish this goal by educating Indiana residents on their options for long-term care, referring people to resources that can help them with Medicare enrollment, and making sure that older residents have access to nutritious meals and safe living environments.
Contact Information: Website | 888-673-0002
Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging
Area Agencies on Aging focus on helping older adults remain independent and access the resources they need to live happy, healthy lives. The Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging provides information on every AAA in the state, giving you quick access to the agency nearest your residence. When you call your local AAA, you’ll connect with a friendly counselor who can answer your questions about Medicare and refer you to other resources as needed to help you make wise decisions about your health care coverage.
Contact Information: Website | 317-205-9201
Learn More From Our Sources
- Medicare | What Medicare Covers | Last accessed June 2021
- Medicare | Medicare Advantage Plans | Last accessed June 2021
- Medicare | Drug Coverage (Part D) | Last accessed June 2021
- Medicare | What’s Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)? | Last accessed June 2021