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Medicare in Nebraska: How to Apply, Coverage, and More

April 6, 2022

Medicare in Nebraska: How to Apply, Coverage, and More

Medicare coverage in Nebraska is an incredibly important way for many Nebraska residents to get the insurance coverage they need. There are almost eight hundred thousand people enrolled in Medicare Advantage in Nebraska and more than 1.9 million people with a Prescription Drug plan.

Are you eligible for Medicare coverage in Nebraska? Do you need more information about what type of coverage you can get, when you're eligible, and what benefits you will receive? Read on to learn more.

Who Qualifies for Medicare in Nebraska?

In Nebraska, like the rest of the country, most residents qualify for Medicare coverage when they reach the age of 65. However, there are some other circumstances under which you can receive Medicare coverage sooner.

  • You have been on disability for at least two years.
  • You have ALS
  • You have end-stage kidney disease

How Do I Apply for Medicare in Nebraska?

The initial enrollment period for Medicare occurs around your 65th birthday and most people are enrolled for Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) automatically. The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) runs from October 15 to December 7 each year. During this time, you can make changes to your Medicare benefits. There are additional enrollment periods as well, like the Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Special Enrollment Periods. Learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods in this guide.

If you currently receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits currently, you may already be receiving Medicare coverage. You should be enrolled automatically when you start pursuing your Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits. If you are not receiving those benefits, you can follow the steps below to apply for Medicare.

  • Visit your local Social Security office and talk to a representative to let them know that you want to sign up for Medicare.
  • Call Social Security directly at 800-772-1213 and ask them to help you get set up with Medicare services
  • Mail a signed, dated letter to the Social Security Administration that will include your name, Social Security number, and when you would like Medicare coverage to begin. Keep in mind that this might be the slowest method, and it can prove difficult to keep track of your application.
  • Visit the Social Security Administration website to apply for Medicare coverage.

What Does Medicare Cover in Nebraska?

Your Medicare coverage in Nebraska may depend on which plan you choose--including whether you have more than one type of coverage. Part A and Part B coverage are considered "Original Medicare" coverage. You may also have the option to add Medigap coverage or consider Medicare Advantage coverage, which are health plans administered by private health insurance companies. Make sure you have a solid understanding of the specific policy you have chosen, the coverage it offers, and what out-of-pocket expenses you can expect so that you can effectively manage your coverage needs.

Part A Coverage

Medicare Part A coverage is hospital insurance. It provides assistance with the cost of hospitalization, including providers you may see while you're in the hospital or treatment you need in order to recover. Medicare Part A ensures that you can go to the hospital to receive key treatment for illness or injuries without having to worry about the potential cost.

Part B Coverage

Medicare Part B coverage provides assistance with the cost of types of medical care that do not require hospitalization. Part B coverage may include things like the cost of visiting a specific healthcare provider, physical therapy, or out-of-office treatment. Medicare Part B coverage may also provide assistance with things like durable medical equipment.

Neither Medicare Part A nor Medicare Part B, however, will provide assistance with prescription medications.

Part D Coverage

Medicare Part D coverage is prescription drug coverage: it helps provide assistance with the cost of the medications you need to manage your conditions. Since Original Medicare plans do not usually cover the cost of prescription medications, regardless of why you need them, many Medicare recipients find it much more practical to add Medicare Part D coverage so they can have assistance with those costs.

Medigap Coverage

Medigap coverage is designed to help with the "gaps" that Part A and Part B coverage do not cover--generally, costs like co-pays and deductibles. Medigap coverage helps reduce those out-of-pocket costs, which can help make needed medical treatments more affordable for many people--especially those who have significant existing medical conditions. Medigap coverage is usually available through private insurance companies. It's important to check to see what Medigap coverage costs might look like and how that coverage may benefit you long-term, since it may have a huge impact on your out-of-pocket medical costs each year.

Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage is a separate category from the other levels of Medicare coverage. Unlike Original Medicare--Part A and Part B coverage--Medicare Advantage plans are available through private insurance companies that have a contract with Medicare. They have to have the same benefits as Medicare Part A and Part B, but they may provide additional types of coverage that you cannot receive through an Original Medicare plan. For example, Medicare Advantage coverage may include dental care, vision care, prescription drug coverage, and other types of care. Medicare Advantage may also include coverage for medical care providers that do not typically accept Original Medicare clients. However, Medicare Advantage plans may not include coverage for hospice care, while Original Medicare plans will usually include that coverage.

Does Nebraska have Medicare Advantage Plans?

Nebraska, like many states, does offer access to Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage plans may have some benefits over Original Medicare plans depending on your circumstances. Unlike Original Medicare coverage, Medicare Advantage is provided by private sources, which means you can select a level of insurance equal to a private insurance provider. Medicare Advantage may be accepted by different medical care providers or offer more coverage for specific types of procedures or medical needs.

If you are eligible for Medicare, you should carefully consider which plan offers the best benefits for your needs. You may want to consider factors like:

  • Do you have an existing medical provider who prefers one type of coverage over another? If so, you may want to choose your Medicare plan based on those specific needs. If you work with a specific provider on a regular basis, you want to be sure that your plan covers those treatments.
  • Do you want your Medicare plan to include types of coverage that you might not receive under Original Medicare? For example, many Medicare Advantage plans include coverage for routine dental and vision appointments, which can substantially cut down your overall costs.
  • What will your co-pays and deductibles look like under each type of plan? Make sure you take a careful look at how much your medical care will cost, based on estimates of your co-pays, deductibles, and regular out-of-pocket costs. You want the plan that will save you the most money long-term.
  • How much coverage can you afford to pay for? Sometimes, your budget may factor in when choosing the plan you want. For example, Medigap coverage, Medicare Part D, and Medicare Advantage plans may have additional costs, while you may find that you are eligible for premium-free Part A. Make sure you understand your potential insurance costs before choosing a policy.

Contact Us to Learn More About Medicare in Nebraska

Do you have questions about Medicare coverage in Nebraska and how it applies to you? We can help. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you choose the right plan for your needs.

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