Do you need help to compare supplemental insurance plans for Medicare? If so, you can make use of our online quotes at any time. As another option, you can dial the toll-free number to take to a Medicare insurance agent. We can help you compare all kinds of supplemental insurance plans, including Medicare supplement plans, Medicare Advantage plans, and Part D for prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Supplement Plans in North Carolina for 2018
These are some quick facts about North Carolina Medicare recipients:
- Number of Medicare recipients in NC: About 1.7 million
- Total Medicare yearly spending: About $10 billion
- Largest centers of Medicare recipients: Charlotte, NC, Raleigh, NC, Greensboro, NC
Guaranteed Enrollment for NC Medicare Recipients
The Open Enrollment Period for Medicare supplement plans is different than the one for Medicare Advantage plans. With Medicare Advantage or Part D, you get an annual enrollment period of a few weeks. You may also be able to sign up at other times. Some examples include when you’re new to Medicare or have lost your Medicare coverage for specific reasons. With Medicare supplement plans, you can sign up whenever you are enrolled in both Part A and B or Original Medicare.
Still, you have Guaranteed Enrollment Periods that give you a chance to sign up for the best Medicare plans without having to go through any health underwriting. If you’re already at least 65 years old, you can signup for any of the state’s Medicare supplement plans without and have to be accepted. These are things to know about NC guaranteed enrollment for Medicare supplement plans:
- Many companies will allow you to enroll up to six months in advance, and the law allows this.
- You can enroll for any plan from your date of first enrollment until six months afterwards.
- If you’re not yet 65 and qualify because of a disability, you only have the option to enroll without health underwriting for Medicare supplement Plans A, C or F. Note that once you turn 65 years old, you can still get the same Guaranteed Enrollment Period as all other beneficiaries once you turn 65.
If you’re not yet 65 years old but get North Carolina Medicare because you’re disabled, you may compare supplemental insurance plans and find that Medicare Advantage works out better. You can still switch to any of the state’s Medicare supplement plans once you turn 65 if you want to.
Do North Carolina Medicare Recipients Need Prescription Drug Coverage?
If you decide to enroll in any of the state’s Medicare supplement plans, you will also need prescription drug coverage. Most people will enroll in a Part D plan to provide this because as you compare supplemental insurance plans, you will see that they don’t cover most medicines, especially those you buy at a pharmacy.
If you don’t have Part D or other prescription insurance, you will have two problems:
- You won’t get any help to pay for the types of medications you might buy at the drugstore.
- You could also get penalized by paying more if you do enroll in Part D later.
Which Are the Best Medicare Plans in North Carolina?
There are many reasons to consider buying Medicare supplement plans over going without any kind of supplemental insurance or even enrolling in Medicare Advantage. You will need to compare supplemental insurance plans and make the best choice for yourself by balancing the benefits and flexibility of Medicare supplements against the premiums you may have to pay.
North Carolina uses the standardized system of Medicare supplement plans that most other states use. Many people decide that the best Medicare plans include Medicare Supplement Plan F, Medicare Supplement Plan G, and Medicare Supplement Plan N.
This list briefly highlights these Medicare supplement choices:
- Medicare Supplement Plan F and Medicare Supplement Plan G are very robust but typically the most expensive.
- Medicare Supplement Plan N includes more cost sharing, but it still provides good protection for a somewhat lower premium.
How to Find the Best Medicare Providers in NC?
The North Carolina Department of Insurance maintains a database that allows you to compare supplemental insurance plans and companies offered by approved insurance companies. They do note that their database may not include discounts, so it’s better to work with an agent to find your actual premiums and quotes.
In any case, these are some sample prices from some of the best Medicare providers to help you with your comparison. They are for a man who is turning 65 and doesn’t use any tobacco, and they were all for the same company. Note that these are samples from the state’s database and may not be entirely current or accurate:
- Plan F: $164.64 a month
- Plan G: $115.99 a month
- Plan N: $96.65
In this particular case, Plan G looks like a good deal for people who want to control costs but keep premiums lower. Plan N is cheaper still, but you may need to pay some copays and have more limitations.
It’s important to shop around for competitive premiums. For instance, Mutual of Omaha Medigap plans offer the same standard benefits for the same plan as USAA or any of the other insurers that are approved in the state.
Most Medicare supplement providers also offer membership packages that might help you with other costs. Typical perks include discounts for fitness clubs, vision, and dental services. These aren’t part of the standard Medicare supplement benefits, so they can change. Still, some of these packages may help you save money or get more value, so it’s worth it to compare them as well.
How to Earn Discounts for NC Medicare Supplement Plans?
Typically, Medicare providers offer household discounts, but these Medicare supplement discounts can vary quite a bit. For instance, many companies will lower your rate if you live in the household with another person who also buys one of their Medicare supplement plans. Some companies will even offer discounts if you simply live in the same household as another person who is over a certain age and isn’t even qualified for Medicare supplement plans yet.
While it’s good to get premium quotes, you should always keep in mind that some insurers will offer discounts that may make the premiums cheaper.
Will Medicare Supplement Premiums Ever Increase?
You may expect premium increases over the years. However, some Medicare companies have a better reputation for keeping premiums lower than others, and this is something you will want to learn about insurers. They may increase premiums as medical costs increase, and in some cases, they may increase premiums for Medicare supplement plans as you age.
It’s important to consider how Medicare supplement plans are priced in the beginning. These are two common examples:
- Issue age: With these Medicare supplement plans, your premium will be cheaper when you are younger, but the Medicare insurance company can’t raise the premiums of your Medicare supplement plans because you are getting older. They may increase premiums because of certain other factors. The rates from these Medicare supplement policies may seem more expensive at first, but they aren’t likely to increase as much as you age.
- Attained age: This is the most common type of Medicare supplement plan, and the look the cheapest when you are younger. However, the Medicare company reserves the right to raise rates as you get older.
Finding the Best Medicare Supplement Plans for 2018 in North Carolina
By now, you have to decide which Medicare insurance will serve you best. Then you should compare various Medicare health insurance companies to see who will offer you competitive rates, good perks, and great service. Choices help you as a consumer, but they also make finding the information you need to make the right choice difficult.
We are in the business of helping Medicare recipients find the best Medicare insurance. We can provide you with information about Medicare supplements, Medicare Advantage, and of course, Medicare Part D.
To help you compare North Carolina Medicare insurance, we offer fast Medicare insurance quotes online. We also are here to answer the phone if you have questions or would rather not use an online quote system. We have helped many NC Medicare beneficiaries find the right Medicare insurance solutions, and we’re also here to help you!