Are you turning 65 in 2021? Then it’s time to look into Medicare plans in Rhode Island, and there are many plans and coverage levels to consider.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported the following information on Medicare trends in Rhode Island for the 2021 plan year:
- A total of 224,443 residents of Rhode Island are enrolled in Medicare.
- The average Medicare Advantage monthly premium decreased in Rhode Island compared to last year — from $27.04 in 2020 to $25.03 in 2021.
- There are 26 Medicare Advantage plans available in Rhode Island for 2021, compared to 21 plans in 2020.
- All Rhode Island residents with Medicare have access to buy a Medicare Advantage plan, including plans with $0 premiums.
- There are 12 different Medigap plans offered in Rhode Island for 2021.
Medicare Rhode Island is divided into several parts that cover a range of healthcare needs and budgets. Medicare plans in Rhode Island fall into one of the following parts.
Together, Part A and Part B make up “original Medicare.”
Medicare Part A is the most basic healthcare coverage provided by the federal government. Part A covers:
- inpatient hospital care
- limited skilled nursing facility care
- limited, part-time home healthcare
- hospice care
Medicare Part B provides additional basic medical coverage on an outpatient bases. Part B coverage includes:
- doctor’s appointments
- outpatient hospital care and emergency room visits
- medical equipment, such as wheelchairs or home oxygen
- preventive services, such as routine screenings and vaccines
- mental health services
- lab tests
Medicare Advantage in Rhode Island
Medicare Advantage plans in Rhode Island, or Part C plans, are offered by private health insurance carriers. While these plans are approved by Medicare, they’re not run by the federal government. Part C benefits include:
- original Medicare coverage, including all hospital and medical coverage
- prescription drug coverage
- additional healthcare services that may include vision, dental, hearing, or wellness services
You can search for Medicare Advantage plans in Rhode Island to find those that are offered in your county. These are some of the companies that offer Medicare Advantage plans in Rhode Island:
Before enrolling in a Part C plan, do your research to make sure it’s the right fit for both your budget and your healthcare needs.
Medicare supplement plans in Rhode Island
Medicare supplement insurance (Medigap) plans in Rhode Island are available through private insurance carriers. They help cover some costs of your care like copays and coinsurance, since original Medicare does not have an out-of-pocket limit.
In Rhode Island, many insurance companies offer Medigap plans. As of 2021, some of the companies offering Medigap plans throughout the state include:
- AARP – UnitedHealthcare
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island
- Colonial Penn
- Garden State
- Mutual of Omaha
- Sentinel Security
These plans are only available with original Medicare. You may not purchase both a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medigap plan.
To be eligible for Medicare plans in Rhode Island, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- be age 65 or older
- be a permanent resident of Rhode Island or an American citizen
Those under age 65 may also qualify for Medicare Rhode Island coverage. If you have a permanent disability or certain chronic illnesses, you may be eligible for Medicare plans in Rhode Island.
When Can I Enroll in Medicare Rhode Island?
You will have several opportunities to enroll in Medicare.
You’ll be able to enroll in Medicare Rhode Island during your initial enrollment period, which begins 3 months before your 65th birthday and ends 3 months after your birthday.
You may also enroll during general (January 1 to March 31), open (October 15 to December 7), and special enrollment periods. However, your initial enrollment offers the best chance to avoid penalties and higher fees.
Tips for enrolling in Medicare in Rhode Island
When deciding what Medicare Rhode Island coverage will meet your healthcare needs, you’ll need to consider budget, location, and coverage needs.
Here are some tips for assessing your needs before enrollment:
- If you are considering a Part C plan, check with your doctor first. Most Medicare Advantage plans in Rhode Island only provide coverage to certain in-network physicians.
- If you’re considering Part C or D Medicare plans in Rhode Island, make a complete list of the medications you regularly take. Read the list of covered drugs in each plan you’re considering, and rule out any plans that don’t pay for your medications.
- Check each plan’s coverage area using your zip code, and rule out any plans that don’t provide coverage in your county.
When looking for more specifics on Medicare plans in Rhode Island, you can contact Medicare or your state agencies directly to seek counseling or clarify coverage.
- Rhode Island Office of Healthy Aging: 888-884-8721. Get Medicare counseling with a SHIP counsellor, learn about the Medicare savings program, and see if you may be eligible for subsidized healthcare coverage.
- Point: 401-462-4444. You can access information, advice, and assistance applying in programs by calling Point.
- Executive Office of Health & Human Services, Elders: 401-462-5274.This office provides support, assists in long-term care placement, and handles the Medicare Premium Payment Program.
- More than 200,000 Rhode Island residents are enrolled in Medicare.
- There are several private insurance companies offering various types of Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans throughout the state.
- Overall, monthly premium costs have decreased for 2021 Medicare Advantage plans in Rhode Island.
- There are also several Medigap plan options if you live in Rhode Island and are looking for additional coverage.