Understand Medicare in Nebraska
Medicare, the United States federal medical insurance program, provides coverage for about 282,415 people in Nebraska 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 18 Medicare Advantage Plans in the state that are an alternative to Original Medicare. Learn more about your Medicare options in Nebraska.
Medicare Plans in Nebraska
|Compare ratings of Nebraska’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||5 out of 10|
|Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield||4 to 4.5 stars||A+||A+||Not rated||Sixth out of 10|
|Cigna||4 stars||A-||Not rated||2.5 to 4.5 stars||Seventh out of 10|
|Humana||4 stars||A-||A+||1.5 to 4.5 stars||Third out of ten|
|UnitedHealthcare||3.5 stars||A-||A-||4 stars||Fourth out of 10|
Medicare Plan Options in Nebraska
Residents of Nebraska have multiple Medicare plans to choose from. Many are tiered to help Nebraskans 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. Nebraska’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 Nebraska 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 Nebraska by the Numbers
|People enrolled in Original Medicare||Average plan cost||Annual state spending per beneficiary||Spending per beneficiary compared to the national average|
|1,003,307||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 Nebraska
Getting support can help when you’re making Medicare decisions. Nebraska has numerous locations where enrollees can receive help through the State Health Insurance Program (SHIP). Nebraska SHIP 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.
Nebraska Aging and Disability Resource Center
The Nebraska Aging and Disability Resource Center helps seniors connect with their local office on aging. The Center provides Medicare resources, including comparing Medicare health plans, paying for long-term health care and reporting elder abuse and.
Contact information: (844) 843-6364
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
In an effort to further its mission to “help people live better lives,” the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services administers state programs to help elderly, low income and disabled residents, including ACCESSNebraska, the state’s Mediciad program, and long-term care assistance. It also provides behavioral health services and aid for children and families.
Contact information: Website | (402) 471-3121
State Unit on Aging
The Nebraska State Unit on Aging is a division of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services that helps seniors age in place. The Unit provides financial support for seniors in need and can help you choose a Medicare health insurance plan.
Contact information: Website | (402) 471-3121
Nebraska Area Agency on Aging
Nebraska has eight Area Agencies on Aging that provides free Medicare assistance, including how to choose a Medciare plan, for Nebraska’s senior and disabled population and their spouses and caregivers. Available services include health and caregiver support, disease prevention, legal services and nutirion services.
Contact information: Website | (844) 843-6364
Learn More from Our Sources
- Medicare | How do Medicare Advantage plans work? | Last accessed November 2022
- Medicare | How to get prescription drug coverage | Last accessed November 2022
- Medicare | Medicare Advantage Plans cover all Medicare services | Last accessed November 2022
- Medicare | What Medicare covers | Last accessed November 2022
- Medicare | What’s Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)? | Last accessed November 2022