Medicare in Minnesota

In this article...
  • Medicare in Minnesota can help you pay for healthcare. Discover more about the plans Medicare offers so you can make the right decision for yourself.

What Minnesota Medicare Plans Are Available? 

Minnesotans can enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D and Medicare Supplement plans offered by private insurance companies. Social Security covers a lot of your costs and a portion of your premiums, but your health care will not be free. Depending on your circumstances and the plans that you enroll in, you will be responsible for a portion of your medical expenses. Make sure to review your plans so that you can make informed decisions and financial plans. 

The Medicare plans available are the following. 

  • Medicare Part A: People refer to this as traditional Medicare, and this plan covers the cost of all inpatient services. You are covered for hospital stays, emergency care, the cost of a nursing home, hospice care and home health care services. 

  • Medicare Part B: This is the second part of traditional Medicare and is the plan that covers routine and preventative care. It covers your doctor visits, medical devices and supplies, medical transportation and any diagnostic testing or exams your physician might require. 

  • Medicare Advantage: You do have the ability to opt out of traditional Medicare and into a private health care plan. The benefit of doing this is that Medicare Advantage plans may offer coverage for vision, dental and prescription drugs, which are not covered under Part A or B. Medicare Advantage plans are required to cover everything provided under traditional Medicare. 

  • Medicare Part D: Prescription drug coverage is provided under Medicare Part D, and you are eligible to enroll even if you have a Medicare Advantage plan. Some Advantage plans do not cover prescription medications, so this allows you to receive coverage if this is the case for you. 

  • Medicare Supplement plans: A Medicare supplement plan is offered by a private insurance company and covers the copays that you are responsible for paying. For example, after meeting your deductible, you are still required to meet a 20% copay on medical services and a Medicare Supplement plan can reduce your responsibility. 

Medicare Advantage plans are growing in popularity in Minnesota. In 2020, around 543,000 residents enrolled in traditional Medicare plans while 496,000 chose a Medicare Advantage plan. It is important that you review your needs and what you can afford when deciding on which plan is right for you. Medicare Supplement plans are a great way to further reduce your medical expenses if you feel that you may not be able to afford your copayments or an emergency visit to a hospital. 

Who Is Eligible for Minnesota Medicare? 

In short, everyone who reaches 65 years of age is eligible for Medicare, but your enrollment requirements may be different depending on your situation. Most people are enrolled automatically so long as they have already begun collecting their Social Security benefits. However, if you did not contribute enough to Social Security during your career or did not begin collecting your benefits already, you might need to enroll yourself.  

Unless you failed to contribute enough to Social Security, your Medicare Part A plan will be free, and you will pay around $150 a month for Medicare Part B. Your payments will be taken from your retirement benefits, so you do not need to worry about paying them on your own. Failure to enroll within the proper timeframe may result in penalties for your Part B plan, which can impact your premiums for the rest of your life. 

You are entitled to select a Medicare Advantage plan from a private insurance company if you wish. A portion of your premium will be covered by the money that is normally allotted for your traditional Medicare options. If you wish to receive coverage that is above and beyond that which is offered in Part A and B, it may be more expensive. The law prohibits insurance companies from excluding any services covered under traditional Medicare in an Advantage plan. 

Medicare Part D plan costs will vary. You can select the level of coverage that you desire, and your premium will be adjusted based on your needs.  

To avoid penalties, it is advised to enroll in Medicare or select an Advantage plan during the initial enrollment period, which is the 90 days before and after your 65th birthday. If you do miss this deadline, there is a general enrollment period that begins each year on January 31 and ends on March 31. There are some extenuating circumstances that will allow you to enroll after your initial enrollment period without penalty.  

If you suffer from a disability or have been caring for a person with a disability, were serving outside the country or had continued coverage from your employer, you will qualify for a special enrollment period. If you enroll this way, you will avoid the penalties normally applied by missing your initial enrollment period. There are also rights and protections you need to be aware of for Medicare Supplement plans. 

For six months after your birthday, you can enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan without being denied coverage or having your premiums inflated due to your age or health status. This protection only lasts for six months, so it is important to decide whether you will enroll in one of these policies before then. 

How Do I Enroll in Minnesota Medicare? 

Enrolling in Medicare is very easy. You can visit Medicare.gov and follow the instructions to enroll or change your plans online. If you want to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan, you will need to do so through a private insurance company, as Medicare does not facilitate these plans. 

Contact Information for Minnesota Medicare, Medicaid and Insurance Help 

For additional resources and assistance, you can visit any of the following websites to learn more. 

Minnesota State Health Insurance Assistance Program 

Medicare Savings Programs 

Minnesota Medicaid Eligibility and Enrollment 

Low-Cost Options for Prescription Drugs 

Medicare: The Details 

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