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What Are Medicare Advantage Plans in Washington?
Variety is known as the spice of life. Residents of Washington can enjoy this through the variety of geographic land areas throughout the state. The state boasts six different geographic land areas: Coast Range, Puget Sound Lowlands, Olympic Mountains, the Columbia Plateau, the Cascade Mountains and the Rocky Mountains.
When it comes to healthcare options for those about to turn age 65 in Washington State, there’s also variety in the form of Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage plans are also known as Medicare Part C. This is an option offering at least the same level of coverage as Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (doctor’s office insurance). MA plans are approved by Medicare, are sold by private insurance companies and replace Medicare Parts A and B.
Many residents of Washington State select a Medicare Advantage plan because of the additional benefits that are typically included. Washington residents desiring coverage for dental, hearing and vision as well as other routine medical services may want to consider a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan as these benefits are often included.
What Determines Eligibility for a Medicare Advantage Plan in Washington?
If you live in a county or zip code in Washington state that offers Medicare Advantage plans and are already approved for Medicare Parts A and B, you’re also eligible for Medicare Part C. A Medicare Advantage plan specific to Washington residents may potentially save you money because many Medicare Advantage plans have $0 monthly premiums. Copayments, coinsurance and deductibles vary depending on the Medicare Plan in which you enroll.
Washington State residents cannot be enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan and a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan at the same time. A Medicare Supplement Insurance plan helps provide coverage for some of the gaps in coverage including copayments, coinsurance and deductibles that aren’t covered by Medicare Parts A and B.
Are Prescription Drugs Covered Under a Washington Medicare Advantage Plan?
Residents within the 39 counties of Washington who are looking for prescription drug coverage should consider a Medicare Part C plan as most Medicare Advantage plans also include a Medicare Prescription Drug plan. A Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage is called a MAPD and it can help cover some of the costs of prescription drugs. If prescription drug coverage is important to your health needs, you may want to consider a Washington Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plan.
Most Popular Medicare Advantage Plans in Washington
Finding the right Medicare Advantage plan in Washington is as unique as the person the plan is there to support. As reported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS.gov), among Washington residents enrolled in Medicare Advantage, the majority (86.1%) choose an HMO/HMOPOS while 13.7% choose a Local PPO. Knowing how much Medicare plan coverage you need will help you determine the right Medicare Advantage plan in Washington to meet your needs and budget.
You can become more informed about Medicare Advantage plans available in Washington by contacting a SelectQuote licensed sales agent who can guide you through the Medicare maze. Acting as your advocate, our licensed sales agents help you weigh the Medicare Advantage plan options in your area, understand costs and answer questions you may have throughout the process. SelectQuote individually shops more than 20 national insurance companies to help you find a plan that meets your individual needs and budget.
When is the Washington Medicare Advantage Plan Enrollment Period?
Enrollment in a Medicare Advantage Plan occurs during specified enrollment periods. Medicare enrollment in Washington opens for residents prior to turning age 65 or earlier in special disability cases. The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) runs for seven months.
IEP begins three months before turning age 65, including the birthday month, and ends 3 months after the birthday month. It is also the time allotted for enrollment in Medicare Parts A, B, C and D. For example, if you’re a Washington resident with a January birthday, your IEP runs from October through April.
You may also enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, which occurs annually each fall. Medicare’s AEP runs from October 15 through December 7 each year. The key dates for AEP are as follows:
Oct. 15 – Annual Enrollment Period Begins
Dec. 7 – Annual Enrollment Period Ends
Jan. 1 – First Date Coverage can start
During the Annual Enrollment every year, Washington residents can:
- Switch from Medicare Parts A and B (Original Medicare) to a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan
- Change from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another
- Switch from one Prescription Drug (Part D) plan to another
- Add a Prescription Drug (Part D) plan if you didn’t enroll when first eligible for Medicare
In addition to AEP, Washington residents who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan can make a one-time plan change during the Open Enrollment (OEP) period, which occurs each year from January 1 through March 31. There are also Medicare Special Enrollment Periods (SEP) you may be able to enroll in Medicare or make changes to your existing Medicare Advantage coverage because of certain events and life changes, such as moving or losing employer coverage.
Is a Washington Medicare Advantage Plan Right for You?
If you’re a Washington resident looking to understand what Medicare Advantage plans are available in your area, SelectQuote can help. We’ll make sure you’re getting all the Medicare benefits you deserve and we’ll also assist you with staying up to date with the annual changes to Medicare plans. As a trusted independent third-party company specializing in the ins and outs of Medicare, SelectQuote is here to help you find the right Medicare Advantage plan to meet your specific needs.
To ensure you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to receive, call or complete your online form today. Let SelectQuote’s personal licensed sales agents simplify the Medicare maze by comparing rates and independently shopping insurance companies to help you find an affordable option that meets your unique needs.