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Medicare Plans in Minnesota

In Minnesota, just like in other states, you have lots of choices for your Medicare benefits. Take a look at this overview, and talk with a Medicare specialist. It helps to have all the information you need before you choose a plan.

Original Medicare

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) is run by the federal government. In most cases, you are automatically enrolled in Original Medicare when you turn 65.

Part A – Hospital Services

Medicare Part A is hospital insurance. Part A benefits cover:

  • Inpatient hospital care
  • Skilled nursing care facility
  • Home health care services
  • Hospice care

For Part A, most people in Minnesota won’t have to pay a monthly premium. You will need to pay a deductible, though, and you may have to pay for part of the cost of Part A services.

Part B – Medical Services – including preventive care

Medicare Part B is medical insurance. Part B benefits cover:

  • Doctors’ office visits
  • Preventive care
  • Lab tests, blood tests and X-rays
  • Diabetic screenings and supplies
  • Outpatient hospital care

For Part B, you will need to pay a monthly premium and a deductible.

Medicare Advantage – Part C

You also have the choice of buying a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan through private insurance companies contracted with Medicare. These plans are required to cover all of the services that Original Medicare covers, and many offer even more benefits, like prescription drugs. Medicare Advantage plans give you all of your coverage in one plan, with one card. So they tend to be easy to manage.

Most Medicare Advantage plans have deductibles, copays and coinsurance, so be sure to ask about that while you’re comparing.

More Benefits: Depending on the plan you choose and where you live (your ZIP code and county in Minnesota), most Medicare Advantage plans may also cover:

  • Prescription drugs (Medicare Part D)
  • Routine care for your vision and hearing
  • Health, fitness and wellness programs

Limited Costs: Medicare Advantage plans have a yearly limit on your out-of-pocket costs. After you reach this yearly limit, you won’t have to pay anything for covered services. So ask about plans you’re interested in because yearly limits vary.

Prescription Drug Plans – Part D

Medicare Part D is stand-alone prescription drug coverage. You can buy a Part D plan through private insurance companies and have it along with your Original Medicare. Most people will have to pay a monthly premium. You can also get prescription drug coverage in many Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare resources in Minnesota

Medicare Savings Programs: If you are enrolled in Medicare, live in Minnesota, and have limited funds, you may qualify for a Medicare Savings Program. This program may help pay for all or some of the healthcare costs that Medicare doesn’t cover. Please check this Department of Human Services Medicare page for all of the details: Click Here

Minnesota State Health Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program (SHIP): The Minnesota Board on Aging has a team of specialists ready to help you with your questions about Medicare. This program is called the Minnesota State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). It’s a good idea to find out about the assistance their team can offer you. For more information: Click Here

Things to remember:

  • Availability of plans in specific areas in Minnesota depends on the contract between the plans and Medicare
  • Benefits and costs vary by the plan you choose and where you live
  • You must continue to pay your Original Medicare Part B premium
  • Hospice care is offered by Part A
  • Review your materials, and call a Medicare specialist

How to sign up for your Medicare plan:

  • Visit Medicare.gov
  • Search the plans you want, choose one and enroll on their website
  • Call the plan you’re interested in for a paper form to fill out
  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) (TTY: 711) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you have both Medicare and Medicaid benefits, contact your state’s Medicaid office also