Medicare Plan Options

You’ll have a variety of choices regarding Medicare if you live in Nebraska. If you don’t have many health concerns, Original Medicare may provide you with all the coverage you need. If you need extra coverage, check out a Medicare Advantage Plan, since Medicare Advantage Plans often include extra coverage not available in Original Medicare, such as vision, dental and hearing. If you do select Original Medicare, you’ll want to consider a prescription drug plan under part D. Medicare Advantage Plans often include prescription drug coverage

Original Medicare

Original Medicare is composed of two main parts: Part A, which can cost as much as $471 a month depending on Medicare taxes you’ve paid in the past, covers hospice care, stays in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, hospitalization, and home health care; and Part B, which cost $148.50 a month and covers doctor’s visits, preventative services, mental health, durable medical equipment and clinical services. You first pay a set deductible, and then your share of an inpatient or an outpatient visit. Original Medicare has no limits on what you’ll pay out-of-pocket.

Medicare Advantage Plans

Residents of Nebraska have 18 different Medicare Advantage Plans from which to choose. Medicare Advantage Plans include Medicare Parts A and B, along with vision, fitness programs, dental, and hearing coverage. Many include prescription drug coverage. You can select from one of four different types of Medicare Advantage Plans: HMOs, PPOs, Private Fee-For-Service Plans (PFFS), and Special Needs Plans (SNP). Some plans require referrals to see a specialist or only allow you to see their in-network providers. Plans often have different or additional premiums and fees than Original Medicare. You can only select a Medicare Advantage Plan that is available in the county where you live in Nebraska.

Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Plans

Original Medicare doesn’t provide prescription drug coverage. If you want or need such coverage you’ll need to select a Part D plan. This does involve an extra cost which depends on several factors including your pharmacy, the tier of the drug, and whether the company which produces the drug you need offers financial assistance. Medicare Advantage Plans, however, often include prescription drug coverage in their offerings. Although you will be given the chance to enroll in a Part D plan when you enroll in Original Medicare, if you decline to enroll and don’t have prescription drug coverage under a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can enroll later but you may have to pay a penalty

Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans

If you select Original Medicare as your Medicare option, it might not pay for everything you need. If you don’t want to select a Medicare Advantage Plan or don’t have access to one in your county that you like, consider a Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plan, also known as Medigap. These plans fill in fees and expenses not covered by Original Medicare. Once Original Medicare pays its share of a health care bill, Medigap then will pay the difference. It doesn’t, however, cover Part B’s $148.50 premium. Medigap can provide medical coverage when you travel out of the country for personal or business reasons. Medigap does not work with any Medicaid Advantage Plan.

Medicare In Wisconsin By the Numbers

People enrolled in Original Medicare  Average plan cost Annual state spending per beneficiary Spending per beneficiary compared to the national average
282,415 Plan A: $0 to $471 per month*
Plan B: $148.50 per month**
$9,610 -5%

*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 Nebraska

It can be difficult to choose which Medicare option you prefer: Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, or a Part D plan. Friends and relatives may have some suggestions, but your best option is to speak to an experienced expert. Nebraska has several organizations that offer the opportunity to speak with trained, experienced counselors to help you make your health care choice. The services are unbiased and widely available across the state, free of charge.

Wisconsin Area Agency on Aging 

Nebraska has eight Area Agencies on Aging whose main mission is to improve services for seniors aged 60 and older and their spouses across the state. This includes nutrition services, caregiver support programs, legal services, health promotion, and disease prevention, as well as assistance making decisions about a Medicare plan.

Contact Information: Website |402-471-3121

Nebraska State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

Nebraska SHIP has a team of trained and certified counselors ready to help you, a family member, or a caregiver negotiate your Medicare options. SHIP counselors can talk with you in one-on-one sessions and are totally unbiased in their suggestions. SHIP members hold and participate in outreach events, media activities, and education about Part D enrollment.

Contact Information: Website | 800-234-7119.

State Unit on Aging

A division of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the State Unit on Aging provides a number of services for seniors including efforts to help them age in place, provide financially needy seniors with assistance and help them make choices about insurance options including Medicare, Medicaid, Medicaid Advantage and Part D plans.

Contact Information: Website | 402-471-2307

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