In 2020, Georgian residents were enrolled in Medicare. There are hundreds of Medicare options to choose from if you live in Georgia.

Whether you want to switch plans to get more coverage or don’t know if you’re eligible for a Medicare Advantage Plan, there’s a lot to know about Medicare.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported the following information on Medicare trends in Georgia for the 2021 plan year:

  • A total of 1,768,624 Georgians were enrolled in Medicare in 2020.
  • The average Medicare Advantage monthly premium in Georgia compared to last year increased slightly from $14.77 in 2020 to $14.84 in 2021.
  • There are 149 Medicare Advantage plans available in Georgia for 2021, compared to 127 plans in 2020.
  • All Georgia residents with Medicare have access to buy a Medicare Advantage plan, including plans with $0 premiums.
  • There are 32 stand-alone Medicare Part D plans available in Georgia for 2021, compared to 28 plans in 2020.
  • All Georgia 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 Georgia for 2021.

Medicare is a government-funded insurance program for people over age 65. Younger adults who have a disability may also qualify for Medicare plans in Georgia.

Original Medicare

Many seniors are automatically enrolled in original Medicare, which includes Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.

Medicare Part A covers hospital services, such as inpatient hospital care, limited home healthcare, and hospice care

Medicare Part B covers medical services and preventative care, such as:

  • doctor’s appointments
  • lab tests
  • x-rays
  • diabetes screening
  • outpatient hospital care

Medicare Part D is a prescription drug plan that will cover the cost of medications. You may choose to enroll in Part D to supplement the coverage provided by parts A and B.

Medicare plans in Georgia also include Special Needs Plans (SNPs). These plans provide coverage for people living with chronic health conditions or who have other special health needs.

Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) are all-in-one plans that provide complete health coverage. They are available through private health insurance providers.

A Medicare Advantage plan will cover both hospital and medical costs, as well as medications. Some Medicare Georgia plans will include additional coverage for vision or dental needs, fitness programs, or hearing aids.

The following insurance companies offer Medicare plans in Georgia:

These companies offer plans many counties in Georgia. However, Medicare Advantage plan offerings vary by county, so enter your specific ZIP code when searching for plans where you live.

Medicare Supplement (Medigap)

Medicare supplement (Medigap) plans provide help paying out-of-pocket costs that original Medicare doesn’t, such as coinsurance and copays. You can purchase these plans in addition to having parts A and B; however, you may not have both Medigap and Medicare Advantage.

In Georgia, many insurance companies offer Medigap plans. As of 2021, some of the companies offering Medigap plans in Georgia include:

  • AARP – UnitedHealthcare
  • Aetna
  • Bankers Fidelity
  • Cigna
  • Great Southern
  • Humana
  • Oxford
  • Sentinel Security
  • State Farm
  • USAA

Georgians have 12 different types of Medigap plans (including high-deductible versions of plans F and G) that are available to choose from this year.

There are several times during the year when you may be eligible to enroll in a Medicare plan. Here are these enrollment dates and explanations:

  • Initial enrollment period (IEP). This initial period starts 3 months prior to your 65th birthday and extends an additional 3 months after your birthday.
  • General enrollment (January 1–March 31). If you missed your IEP dates, you can enroll during the general enrollment period. Your coverage begins on July 1.
  • Open enrollment for Medicare Advantage (January 1–March 31). During this open enrollment period, you can switch from original Medicare to Medicare Advantage or change to a different Medicare Advantage plan.
  • Medicare annual enrollment period (October 15–December 7). During this time, you can choose a new plan.
  • Special enrollment period. You may qualify for a special enrollment period if your employer insurance has changed, or if you have a disability.

Tips for enrolling in Medicare in Georgia

When choosing between plans and carriers, you’ll first want to think about exactly what you need.

  • Make a list of all medications you take. Before you enroll in a Medicare Plan in Georgia, make a comprehensive list of all prescriptions you take and what they cost. Also, consider how frequently you visit your doctor for refills and new prescriptions.
  • Record or estimate the total amount you spend on healthcare each year. Depending on your medical expenses, a Medicare Advantage plan or Part D (prescription coverage) may save you money.
  • Call your doctor’s office and ask what insurance providers they accept. If you’re considering a Medicare Advantage plan, many of the carriers will only work with in-network doctors.
  • Read reviews of the carriers in your area and note highly rated or recommended plans or companies. You can find out how a plan performs by accessing the CMS star rating system.

Are you eligible?

Many seniors are automatically enrolled in original Medicare when they turn age 65, but you’ll have to apply for a Medicare Advantage plan. To be eligible for a Medicare Advantage plan in Georgia you need meet these requirements:

  • be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of Georgia
  • be enrolled in original Medicare Part A and Part B
  • have paid Medicare payroll deductions

You may also be eligible for a Medicare Advantage plan in Georgia if you have a disability or a chronic illness such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or end stage renal disease (ESRD).

Georgians receiving pensions from the Railroad Retirement Board or from Social Security may also qualify for a Medicare Advantage plan.

You can find more information about Medicare plans in Georgia by contacting the following organizations. They’ll be happy to provide you with more information about Medicare Georgia and help you find the plan that’s right for you.

  • GeorgiaCares: Get help from the Georgia Medicare Savings Program called GeorgiaCares. As part of the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), GeorgiaCares provides information about Medicare, free counseling services, and assistance enrolling in a Medicare plan in Georgia. They can be reached by telephone at 866-552-4464.
  • Division of Aging Services: The Division of Aging Services of Georgia can provide help and support to seniors in Georgia. You can speak to someone by telephone at 404-657-5258.
  • Georgia Drug Card: This assistance program makes medications more affordable for Georgia residents. Contact 404-657-3127 for more information.

You can also find out how to enroll in a Medicare plan in Georgia, and explore your coverage options by calling 800-633-4227.

What should I do next?

Are you ready to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan in Georgia, and find the best plan for you for 2021?

  • Visit Medicare.gov to see a list of the Medicare Georgia plans in your area, then visit the carrier’s website for more information about specific plans.
  • Narrow your search by checking CMS star ratings, using your zip code, and determining your budget as you evaluate Advantage plans.
  • Enroll online, use a paper form, or call the carrier directly to enroll in a Medicare plan.

Medicare plans in Georgia can help you cover the cost of your health services. Whether you’re about to qualify for Medicare for the first time, or want to increase your coverage, take some time to evaluate your options.

You may get enough coverage with original Medicare Georgia, or choose to add Plan D. Depending on your situation, a Medicare Advantage plan may help save you money every month, provide additional services that suit your needs, or give you more flexibility.

  • About 1.7 million people in Georgia were enrolled in Medicare in 2020.
  • There are several private insurance companies offering many types of Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans in Georgia.
  • Overall, Medicare Advantage plan monthly premium costs have increased only slightly in Georgia for 2021.