If you’re shopping for Medicare coverage in Florida, you’ve got a lot to consider when selecting a plan.
Medicare is a health program offered through the federal government to people age 65 and older as well as people with certain disabilities. You can get coverage directly from the government or through a private insurance company.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported the following information on Medicare trends in Florida for the 2021 plan year:
- A total of 4,656,189 residents of Florida were enrolled in Medicare.
- The average Medicare Advantage monthly premium increased in Florida compared to last year — from $8.05 in 2020 to $8.28 in 2021.
- There are 527 Medicare Advantage plans available in Florida for 2021, compared to 474 plans in 2020.
- All Florida residents with Medicare have access to buy a Medicare Advantage plan, including plans with $0 premiums.
- There are 28 stand-alone Medicare Part D plans available in Florida for 2021, compared to 27 plans in 2020.
- All Florida residents with a stand-alone Part D plan have access to a plan with a lower monthly premium than they paid in 2020.
- There are 12 different Medigap plans offered in Florida for 2021.
Medicare is more than just one plan. There are different plans and components that cover different things.
Original Medicare is managed by the federal government. It includes two main parts, Part A and Part B.
Part A covers hospital services. This includes inpatient care you receive in a hospital or skilled nursing facility, as well as some home health services.
Part B covers more general medical costs, such as services you receive at a doctor’s office, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive care.
Depending on your health needs, original Medicare may not provide enough coverage. It doesn’t include coverage for prescription drugs, for instance. And out-of-pocket costs such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles add up, which can be expensive if you use healthcare a lot.
Medicare Advantage in Florida
Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans are plans offered through private insurance companies and are a full replacement for original Medicare. These plans cover all of the same benefits of parts A and B, and then some.
If you decide to go with a Medicare Advantage plan, you have plenty of choices in Florida. Keep in mind, though, that not all of these plans are available in all counties. Availability varies depending on where you live.
A number of insurance carriers are offering Medicare Advantage plans in Florida. Here are some of the private insurance companies offering Medicare Advantage plans in Florida for 2021:
- Aetna Medicare
- Bright Health
- CarePlus Health Plans
- Devoted Health
- Florida Blue
- Lasso Healthcare
- Prominence Health Plan
- Solis Health Plans
These companies offer plans in many counties in Florida. However, Medicare Advantage plan offerings vary by county, so enter your specific ZIP code when searching for plans where you live.
Medicare supplement plans in Florida
Medicare supplement (Medigap) plans help cover the gaps in original Medicare coverage, which might include copays and coinsurance, as well as coverage for services that original Medicare doesn’t cover at all. You can purchase these plans in addition to having parts A and B.
In Florida, several insurance companies offer Medigap plans. As of 2021, some of the companies offering Medigap plans in Florida include:
- AARP – UnitedHealthcare
- Colonial Penn
- Everence Association Inc.
- Florida Blue
- Great Southern
- Prosperity Life Group
- State Farm
In total, you have 12 different types of Medigap plans (including high-deductible versions of plans F and G) that are available to choose from this year if you live in Florida.
Medicare coverage is available to individuals who:
- are age 65 or older
- are under age 65 and have certain disabilities
- are any age and have end stage renal disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
For most people, your initial Medicare Florida enrollment period begins 3 months before you turn 65 and lasts for 3 months after you turn 65.
Tips for enrolling in Medicare
The Medicare plan that’s best for you depends on a number of factors that may vary depending on your preference or situation. Consider the following when selecting a plan:
- Compare plan structures. If you’re choosing a Medicare Advantage plan, know that these plans come in a variety of plan designs. It’s essential to understand how a plan works and how that might affect your care. Do you prefer to have a primary care physician overseeing your care (HMO)? Or would you rather be able to see any specialist in a network without getting a referral (PPO)?
- Consider costs. How much are premiums, copayments, deductibles, or other costs? If you qualify for coverage through an employer, how do those costs compare to your current group coverage options?
- Check reviews. See what other consumers are saying about their plans. Does the claims process work smoothly? Is customer service friendly and efficient? Read reviews online or ask around if you know other people enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans.
- Review the provider network. If you have a preferred physician, look for a plan that includes them in the Medicare Florida network. Some plans may have more narrow coverage areas that aren’t geographically convenient. The time to find out is before you enroll.
- Shop for perks that suit you. Medicare Advantage plans usually include a lot of extras — discounts and programs that can help you stay healthy and thriving. Look for ones that fit your lifestyle and will be useful to you.
To learn more about Medicare plans in Florida, check outthese resources:
- SHINE (ServingHealth Insurance Needs of Elders), a free program offered by the FloridaDepartment of Elder Affairs and your local Area Agency on Aging
- State of FloridaMedicare & Medicaid
What should I do next?
Ready to take the next steps in enrolling in a Medicareplan in Florida? You may want to consider these actions:
- Get in touch with a Medicare Florida insurance agent who can help you understand your Medicare options and get you quotes from different plans to help you compare.
- Look up plan information online through local insurance carriers.
- Fill out an online Medicare application through the Social Security Administration. You can fill out the form in as little as 10 minutes and you don’t need to submit documentation right away.
- Over 4.6 million people in Florida were enrolled in Medicare in 2020.
- There are several private insurance companies offering various types of Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans in Florida.
- Overall, monthly premium costs have slightly increased for 2021 Medicare Advantage plans in Florida, but costs are still fairly low compared to most other states.