Medicare is a federal program that helps older adults and younger people with disabilities pay for healthcare. Across the country, nearly 62.1 million people get their health coverage from Medicare, including approximately 2.1 million people in Michigan.
If you’re shopping for Medicare plans in Michigan, you may be wondering what options are available and how to choose the plan that’s right for you.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported the following information on Medicare trends in Michigan for the 2021 plan year:
- A total of 2,100,051 Michigan residents were enrolled in Medicare.
- The average Medicare Advantage monthly premium decreased in Michigan compared to last year — from $43.93 in 2020 down to $38 in 2021.
- There are 169 Medicare Advantage plans available in Michigan for 2021, compared to 156 plans in 2020.
- All Michigan residents with Medicare have access to buy a Medicare Advantage plan, including plans with $0 premiums.
- There are 29 stand-alone Medicare Part D plans available in Michigan for 2021, compared to 30 plans in 2020.
- All Michigan 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 Michigan for 2021.
In Michigan, there are two main options for Medicare coverage: original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Original Medicare is managed by the federal government, while Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private companies.
Original Medicare has two parts: Part A and Part B.
Part A (hospital insurance) helps you pay for services such as inpatient hospital stays and skilled nursing facility care.
Part B (medical insurance) helps you pay for many medical services, including doctors’ services, health screenings, and outpatient care.
Medicare Advantage in Michigan
Medicare Advantage plans are the other way to get your Medicare coverage. They’re sometimes called Part C. These bundled plans must cover all Medicare parts A and B services. Often, they include Part D, too. Medicare Advantage plans may also offer many extra benefits, such as vision, dental, and hearing care.
As a Michigan resident, you have many Medicare Advantage options. As of 2021, the following insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans in Michigan:
- Aetna Medicare
- Blue Care Network
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
- HAP Senior Plus
- Priority Health Medicare
- Reliance Medicare Advantage
- Zing Health
These companies offer plans in many counties in Michigan. 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 Michigan
Medicare supplement (Medigap) plans are a type of Medicare insurance sold by private companies. They are designed to help cover original Medicare costs, such as:
There are 10 Medigap plans, and each is given a letter name. No matter what company you use, the coverage offered by a certain letter plan must be the same. However, the cost and availability of each plan may vary based on the state, county, or ZIP code where you live.
In Michigan, many insurance companies offer Medigap plans. As of 2021, some of the companies offering Medigap plans in Michigan include:
- AARP – UnitedHealthcare
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
- Colonial Penn
- Priority Health
- State Farm
In total, you have 12 different Medigap plans (including high-deductible versions of plans F and G) that are available to choose from this year if you live in Michigan.
If you receive Social Security retirement benefits, you’ll most likely be automatically enrolled in Medicare when you turn 65. You may also be automatically enrolled at the start of your 25th month on SSDI if you’re a younger adult with a disability.
If you aren’t automatically enrolled in Medicare, you can sign up at certain times during the year. The following enrollment periods are available:
- Initial enrollment period. If you’re eligible for Medicare at 65, you can sign up during the 7-month initial enrollment period. This period starts 3 months before the month you turn 65, includes your birthday month, and ends 3 months after your birthday month.
- Medicare open enrollment period. If you have Medicare, you can make changes to your coverage between October 15 and December 7 every year. This includes joining a Medicare Advantage plan.
- Medicare Advantage open enrollment period. Between January 1 and March 31 every year, people with Medicare Advantage plans can change their coverage. At this time, you can switch to a new Medicare Advantage plan or go back to original Medicare.
- Special enrollment periods. You can sign up at other times of the year if you experience certain life events, such as losing your employer-based health plan or volunteering in a foreign country.
Tips for enrolling in Medicare in Michigan
Choosing a Medicare plan in Michigan is a big decision. Here are some things you may want to think about as you shop around:
- Provider network. If you choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you generally need to get your care from in-network providers. Before you sign up, find out if the doctors, hospitals, and facilities you visit are part of the plan’s network.
- Service area. Original Medicare is available nationwide, but Medicare Advantage plans serve smaller service areas. Find out what each plan’s service area is, as well as what coverage you have if you go outside of the service area.
- Out-of-pocket costs. You may need to pay premiums, deductibles, or copayments for your Medicare coverage. Medicare Advantage plans have an annual maximum out-of-pocket cost. Make sure the plan you choose will fit into your budget.
- Benefits. Medicare Advantage plans need to cover the same services as original Medicare, but they may offer extra benefits, such as dental or vision care. They may also offer perks such as wellness programs and over-the-counter drugs.
- Your other coverage. Sometimes, signing up for a Medicare Advantage plan means losing your union or employer coverage. If you already have coverage, find out how it’ll be affected by Medicare before you make any decisions.
If you want to learn more about Medicare plans in Michigan, the following resources may be helpful:
What should I do next?
If you’re ready to sign up for Medicare, or if you want to learn more about Medicare Advantage plans in Michigan:
- Contact the Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program to get free health benefit counseling and help navigating Medicare.
- Complete an online benefits application on the Social Security website, or apply in-person at a Social Security office.
- Compare Medicare Advantage plans at Medicare.gov, and enroll in a plan.
- About 2.1 million people in Michigan were enrolled in Medicare in 2020.
- There are several private insurance companies offering various types of Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans in Michigan.
- Overall, monthly premium costs have decreased for 2021 Medicare Advantage plans in Michigan.
This article was updated on October 2, 2020 to reflect 2021 Medicare information.
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