Medicare in Indiana
- Indiana seniors have access to a number of Medicare plan options. Find out more and how to apply in this guide.
What Indiana Medicare Plans Are Available?
The plans available for those who live in Indiana are Medicare Part A, Part B, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D. You also have the option to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan, which you would sign up for with a private insurance company. The government subsidizes the cost of Medicare, so your cost could be greatly reduced by your Social Security benefits. There are deductibles and copays that you will be responsible for, so understanding your plan and what is covered will help you plan better for your medical costs.
The plans available and what they cover follow below:
- Medicare Part A: This plan is part of the original Medicare law and covers the cost of emergency services and inpatient care. It also provides coverage for nursing care, home health care and hospice care.
- Medicare Part B: This is also part of the original Medicare package and covers the cost of your preventative care, such as doctor’s visits, diagnostic testing, medical supplies and medical equipment.
- Medicare Advantage: Congress passed a bill in 2006 that was signed into law allowing Medicare recipients the option of choosing a private insurance company to administer coverage in place of the federal government. These plans are Medicare Advantage plans, and while you are able to choose your insurer, a portion of your costs is subsidized via your Social Security benefits. Some Advantage plans let you receive coverage for things not offered by Medicare Part A and B, such as prescription medications, dental and vision coverage.
- Medicare Part D: This is your prescription drug plan under Medicare. Even if you are enrolled in Medicare Advantage, you may choose to enroll in Medicare Part D. This is advised if your Medicare Advantage plan does not cover the cost of your medications.
- Medigap Coverage: Medicare Supplement plans, also referred to as Medigap, cover the gap in your coverage and what you are required to pay. For example, Medicare Part B covers 80% of your medical costs after you meet your deductible, but a Medigap plan would help reduce what you would need to pay out of pocket by covering a portion of your copay.
Traditional Medicare plans are much more popular than Medicare Advantage in the state of Indiana. Around 833,000 people enrolled in Medicare Part A and B compared with only 444,000 who opted for a Medicare Advantage plan. If you are having trouble deciding which plan is right for you, evaluate whether you have medical conditions or needs that would be covered by a Medicare Advantage plan or if you feel that Medicare Part A and B are sufficient. Medicare Supplement plans are an excellent way to reduce your co-payment and out-of-pocket expenses.
Who Is Eligible for Indiana Medicare?
Chances are that if you have already been receiving Social Security, you will be enrolled automatically if you have not been already. Most people meet the criteria for automatic enrollment, but if you have not been drawing your benefits long enough or did not contribute enough into Social Security while you were working, you will be required to enroll yourself. Auto-enrollment occurs on the day that you turn 65 unless you choose to opt into a different plan, such as Medicare Advantage.
Medicare Part A will not cost you anything because it is part of your Social Security benefits as long as you met the required contributions over your life. Medicare Part B does cost around $150 for most people, but this is taken out of your Social Security or pension payments automatically so you don't need to send payment.
Medicare Advantage lets you have more control over your coverage because of the ability to choose your insurer. Because your plan will be subsidized by the government, you could reduce the cost of your coverage significantly. Some people are able to get Medicare Advantage plans free of charge, but this is rare. The cost of your Medicare Part D plan will depend on the level of prescription drug coverage you want or need.
Your initial enrollment period for Medicare begins three months prior to your birthday and runs for another three months after. It is really important to enroll during this time because you will be penalized and forced to pay higher premiums for the rest of your life if you don't. There are several special circumstances where you can avoid this penalty if you miss your initial enrollment period.
General enrollment occurs from January 1 to March 31 every year and lets those who missed their Initial Enrollment Period enroll if they decide they would like to do so. If you missed your deadline because you were taking care of a family member with a disability, you served overseas or you were still covered under a work health care policy, you are able to avoid the penalty by waiting for a special enrollment period.
If you're interested in enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan, you do need to act quickly. You have six months beyond your birthday to enroll, and as long as you do it within this timeframe, your insurer is unable to deny you coverage or increase your rates based on your age, medical history or medical conditions. If you do not act within six months of your 65th birthday, you will lose these vital protections.
How Do I Enroll in Indiana Medicare?
The process for applying for Medicare is rather straightforward. Visit the Medicare website at Medicare.gov to see your status, enroll in a plan or change to a Medicare Advantage plan. All you need to do is follow the directions on the site, and you can complete the process from your computer.
Contact Information for Indiana Medicare, Medicaid and Insurance Help
If you would like more information about Medicare and other assistance with your medical care, you can check out the following resources.