Medicare in Alabama | Medicare Plans (2022)

Understand Medicare in Alabama

Medicare, the United States federal medical insurance program, provides coverage for more than 500,000 people in Alabama 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 64 Medicare Advantage Plans in the state that are an alternative to Original Medicare. Learn more about your Medicare options in Alabama.

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Medicare Plans in Alabama

Compare ratings of Alabama’s Medicare plan providers:
Insurance companyMedicare ratingA.M. Best ratingBBB ratingNCQA ratingJ.D. Power ranking
Aetna4 starsAA+2.5 to 4.5 starsFifth out of 10
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield4 to 4.5 starsA+A+Not ratedSixth out of 10
Cigna4 starsA-Not rated2.5 to 4.5 starsSeventh out of 10
UnitedHealthcare3.5 starsA-A-4 starsFourth out of 10

Medicare Plan Options in Alabama

Residents of Alabama have multiple Medicare plans to choose from. Many are tiered to help Alabama seniors find the plan that is best suited to their lifestyle and medical needs. For example, seniors and individuals with disabilities who don’t need much coverage can apply for Original Medicare. Alabama’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:
  • Original Medicare is a good choice if you want flexibility in choosing and accessing providers that accept Medicare anywhere in the U.S.
  • There is no cap on what you could spend for out-of-pocket expenses, and you must purchase drug coverage separately, so it’s a better choice for you if you don’t need much in the way of health care or prescription drugs.
  • If you don’t purchase a Medigap policy to supplement Original Medicare when you are first eligible, you may not be able to purchase one or may have to pay higher premiums, depending on your health status.
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 Advantage is a good choice if you want to have all of your health care and drug benefits bundled together in one plan and if you don’t mind being restricted in your choice of providers to save on costs.
  • There is a cap on what you can spend for out-of-pocket Medicare-covered expenses.
  • You also have access to services that Medicare doesn’t cover, like routine dental and vision exams.
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:
  • Part D is a good choice if you have Original Medicare, or if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan ― not a health maintenance organization (HMO) or preferred provider organization (PPO) ― that doesn’t have prescription drug coverage.
  • You pay a penalty if you wait to enroll in a Part D plan, unless you have creditable coverage from an employer-sponsored group plan.
  • If you don’t require medications now, you can enroll in a low-premium Part D plan to avoid late enrollment penalties later.
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans (Medigap)Some Alabama 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.
  • Medigap is a good choice if you have Original Medicare and want help paying for out-of-pocket expenses you incur when you access your Part A and Part B benefits.
  • You pay a monthly premium, and most copays and coinsurance costs are covered.
  • If you have significant health care needs, want the freedom to see any Medicare provider without network restrictions, a Medigap plan offers predictable coverage and costs for Medicare-covered care.
  • Medigap doesn’t cover prescription drugs or other benefits like dental and vision.

Medicare in Alabama by the Numbers

People enrolled in Original Medicare Average plan costAnnual state spending per beneficiarySpending per beneficiary compared to the national average
569,907Plan A: $0 to $499 per month*

Plan B: $170.10 per month**

$10,731+1.06%

*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.

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Medicare Resources in Alabama

Learning about your Medicare options is important. Seniors and their caregivers have a number of Alabama organizations that they can turn to if they need guidance including the state’s Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), local public health agencies, and nonprofit groups. These organizations also offer a variety of services and programs aimed at promoting a high quality of life for aging residents.

Alabama Area Agencies on Aging

The 13 AAAs located throughout Alabama connect seniors with resources and services that help maintain their independence and quality of life. These agencies administer programs in their local communities and support other organizations and activities. At your local AAA, you can get one-on-one counseling about your Medicare options. Trained counselors can also advise you about available programs that may help lower your out-of-pocket health care costs.

Contact information: Website | 800-243-5463

State Health Insurance Assistance Program

Seniors in Alabama who need help and guidance on selecting the best Medicare option for their needs can turn to the counselors of the SHIP program. These trained volunteers can provide free, unbiased advice about Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medigap, Medicaid, and long-term care insurance. SHIP counselors can also assist you with Medicare claims and appeals. You can contact a SHIP counselor through your local AAA or the Aging & Disability Resource Center’s Ageline.

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Contact Information: Website | 800-243-5463

Alabama Senior Medicare Patrol

The Alabama SMP program exists to educate Medicare-eligible seniors about how to detect and prevent fraud, abuse or errors. The program’s trained volunteers can help you address concerns about possible fraud or Medicare abuse by telemarketers, health care providers, medical equipment suppliers, and others. They can also help you sort out possible errors on your Medicare statements and related medical bills.

Contact Information: Website | 800-243-5463

Medicare in Alabama | Medicare Plans (1)

Kelly Blackwell

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Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

As a health care professional since 1987, Kelly Blackwell has walked alongside and cared for seniors as they journey through the season of their fourth quarter of life. Blackwell holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Northern Colorado, a Master of Science in health care administration from Grand Canyon University, an interprofessional graduate certificate in palliative care from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and holds a Certified Senior Advisor® credential from the Society of Certified Senior Advisors.

Blackwell contributes to the University of Colorado-Anschutz blog and has been published in “The Human Touch” distributed by the University of Colorado Center for Bioethics and Humanities. She cowrote “Dying Is” for Pathways Hospice.

A registered nurse, Blackwell understands health insurance choices influence quality of life and are driven by values, goals, and beliefs. She’s passionate about engaging with, educating, and empowering seniors as they navigate the health care system. She’s equipped to lend an experienced, compassionate voice to beneficiaries seeking information about Medicare Advantage Plans.

As a CSA®, Blackwell has access to valuable resources for Medicare beneficiaries. Her work as a bedside nurse and clinical manager has given her the opportunity to see how Medicare rules, regulations, and benefits work when patients need them. With a passion to learn and to make a difference in the lives of seniors, Blackwell supports seniors through Medicare and fourth-quarter life decisions.

Learn More from Our Sources

FAQs

Medicare in Alabama | Medicare Plans? ›

Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans combine the components of original Medicare with additional coverage, like prescription drugs, vision, and dental.
...
Medicare Advantage in Alabama
  • Aetna Medicare.
  • Ascension Complete.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama.
  • Cigna.
  • Humana.
  • Lasso Healthcare.
  • UnitedHealthcare.
  • Viva Medicare.

What are 4 types of Medicare plans? ›

There are four parts of Medicare: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D.
  • Part A provides inpatient/hospital coverage.
  • Part B provides outpatient/medical coverage.
  • Part C offers an alternate way to receive your Medicare benefits (see below for more information).
  • Part D provides prescription drug coverage.

What are the top 3 Medicare plans? ›

The Best Medicare Advantage Provider by State

Local plans can be high-quality and reasonably priced. Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana and United Healthcare earn the highest rankings among the national carriers in many states.

What is the most popular Medicare health plan? ›

The Bottom Line

Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N are the most popular plans because they ensure predictable out-of-pocket Medicare costs. No matter which of these plans you choose, you know how much you'll pay when you receive healthcare.

What is the biggest disadvantage of Medicare Advantage? ›

Medicare Advantage can become expensive if you're sick, due to uncovered copays. Additionally, a plan may offer only a limited network of doctors, which can interfere with a patient's choice. It's not easy to change to another plan. If you decide to switch to a Medigap policy, there often are lifetime penalties.

Is Medicare A and B free? ›

While Medicare Part A – which covers hospital care – is free for most enrollees, Part B – which covers doctor visits, diagnostics, and preventive care – charges participants a premium. Those premiums are a burden for many seniors, but here's how you can pay less for them.

What is the best Medicare Advantage plan for 2022? ›

Best Medicare Advantage Plans in 2022
  • Best for size of network: UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage.
  • Best for extra perks: Aetna Medicare Advantage.
  • Best for member satisfaction: Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage.
  • Best for low-cost plan availability: Humana Medicare Advantage.
Dec 21, 2021

What is the best Medicare insurance for seniors? ›

Best Medicare Advantage Providers Ratings
ProviderForbes Health RatingsLearn More
Humana5.0Get A Quote On Medicare Enrollment's Website
Blue Cross Blue Shield5.0Get A Quote On Medicare Enrollment's Website
Cigna4.5Get A Quote On Medicare Enrollment's Website
United Healthcare4.0Get A Quote On CoverRight's Website
1 more row
Jul 25, 2022

How much does plan G cost in Alabama? ›

What Medigap Plans Cost in Alabama. Expect to pay about $70 to $340 each month for a Medigap plan A, G, or N in Alabama if you enroll during your open enrollment period.

How do I get my $144 back from Medicare? ›

How do I qualify for the giveback?
  1. Are enrolled in Part A and Part B.
  2. Do not rely on government or other assistance for your Part B premium.
  3. Live in the zip code service area of a plan that offers this program.
  4. Enroll in an MA plan that provides a giveback benefit.
Jan 14, 2022

How much will I pay for Medicare when I turn 65? ›

In 2022, the premium is either $274 or $499 each month, depending on how long you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes. You also have to sign up for Part B to buy Part A. If you don't buy Part A when you're first eligible for Medicare (usually when you turn 65), you might pay a penalty.

What is taken out of Social Security for Medicare? ›

Medicare Part B (medical insurance) premiums are normally deducted from any Social Security or RRB benefits you receive. Your Part B premiums will be automatically deducted from your total benefit check in this case. You'll typically pay the standard Part B premium, which is $170.10 in 2022.

What does plan G pay for? ›

Medicare Plan G coverage

You would pay for medical services — such as outpatient care, preventative care and ambulance services — until you have reached the deductible amount. Then Medicare would cover your health care costs.

How much is Medicare Plan G? ›

Plan G has essentially the same benefits as Plan F, except for the Part B deductible. Annual premiums for Medicare Plan G typically cost between $1,500 and $2,000. Some insurance companies offer extra perks and benefits for vision and dental care with Medicare Plan G.

Who is the largest Medicare Advantage provider? ›

Medicare Advantage company with the largest network: Blue Cross Blue Shield. Consider Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) if you want the strength of an established insurance company and the flexibility of a large network of doctors and medical providers.

Can I switch from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare? ›

Yes, you can elect to switch to traditional Medicare from your Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Open Enrollment period, which runs from October 15 to December 7 each year. Your coverage under traditional Medicare will begin January 1 of the following year.

Can you switch back and forth between Medicare and Medicare Advantage? ›

If you currently have Medicare, you can switch to Medicare Advantage (Part C) from Original Medicare (Parts A & B), or vice versa, during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. If you want to make a switch though, it may also require some additional decisions.

What type of Medicare are there? ›

What are the 4 types of Medicare, and what do they cover in 2021?
  • Medicare Part A: Hospital insurance. ...
  • Medicare Part B: Medical insurance. ...
  • Medicare Part C: Medicare Advantage plans. ...
  • Medicare Part D:
Jan 27, 2022

What is Medicare Part C called? ›

A Medicare Advantage is another way to get your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called "Part C" or "MA Plans," are offered by Medicare-approved private companies that must follow rules set by Medicare.

How much will I pay for Medicare when I turn 65? ›

In 2022, the premium is either $274 or $499 each month, depending on how long you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes. You also have to sign up for Part B to buy Part A. If you don't buy Part A when you're first eligible for Medicare (usually when you turn 65), you might pay a penalty.

What is Medicare Plan G? ›

Plan G is a supplemental Medigap health insurance plan that is available to individuals who are disabled or over the age of 65 and currently enrolled in both Part A and Part B of Medicare. Plan G is one of the most comprehensive Medicare supplement plans that are available to purchase.

What is the best Medicare insurance for seniors? ›

Best Medicare Advantage Providers Ratings
ProviderForbes Health RatingsLearn More
Humana5.0Get A Quote On Medicare Enrollment's Website
Blue Cross Blue Shield5.0Get A Quote On Medicare Enrollment's Website
Cigna4.5Get A Quote On Medicare Enrollment's Website
United Healthcare4.0Get A Quote On CoverRight's Website
1 more row
Jul 25, 2022

What are the two types of Medicare plans? ›

There are 2 main ways to get Medicare: Original Medicare is a fee-for-service health plan that has two parts: Part A (Hos- pital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insur- ance). After you pay a deductible, Medicare pays its share of the Medicare-approved amount, and you pay your share (coinsur- ance and deductibles).

Who is the largest Medicare Advantage provider? ›

Medicare Advantage company with the largest network: Blue Cross Blue Shield. Consider Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) if you want the strength of an established insurance company and the flexibility of a large network of doctors and medical providers.

Videos

1. Medicare Basics: Parts A, B, C & D
(Medicare Made Clear | UnitedHealthcare Medicare)
2. Pros and Cons of Medicare Advantage Plans ACCORDING TO OUR CLIENTS
(Boomer Benefits - Medicare Expert)
3. 2021 How to use Medicare Plan Finder, step-by-step
(CMSHHSgov)
4. Do I Need a Medicare Supplement Plan? The Truth About Medigap Plans....
(iHealthBrokers)
5. What Does Medicare Plan N Cover?
(Boomer Benefits - Medicare Expert)
6. Medicare Explained / Medicare Part B & Medicare Part A (and Supplements)
(MedigapSeminars.org)

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