If you want to spend your golden years surrounded by scenic beauty, Arkansas is the place to be. Fortunately, The Natural State can also keep you healthy, with 25 local Medicare Supplement companies that offer plans to shore up your Medicare benefits.
How Much Does Medicare Supplement Cost in Arkansas?
Arkansas enjoys some of the lowest Medicare Supplement plan prices in the South. How much you’ll pay depends on the plan and the carrier you choose. All Medicare Supplement plans are standardized by letter, so only the prices (not the benefits of each Plan G or Plan N) will vary by company.
HealthCare.com analyzed price ranges in Little Rock as of April 2019 to give you an idea of what AR Medicare Supplement plans cost. Typical Monthly premiums are listed below:
- Plan A: $114 – $173
- Plan B: $152 – $169
- Plan C: $184 – $186
- Plan D: $164 – $193
- Plan F: $171 – $190
- Plan F-HD: $36 – $97
- Plan G: $132 – $187
- Plan K: $72 – $143
- Plan L: $145 – $150
- Plan M: $181
- Plan N: $106 – $180
How Many Arkansans Join Each Medigap Plan?
Almost 30 percent of people with Medicare in Arkansas are enrolled in a Medigap plan, as of 2016. Here is the number of members in each plan:
- Plan A: 594
- Plan B: 462
- Plan C: 1,839
- Plan D: 456
- Plan F: 38,726
- Plan G: 7,518
- Plan K: 454
- Plan L: 275
- Plan M: 4
- Plan N: 6,703
The fastest-growing plan nationwide, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the second most popular in Arkansas thanks to its near-total coverage. Medigap Plan N rounds out the top three, with coverage that is similar to Plan G but with lower monthly payments in exchange for small copayments.
Medigap Plan F is by far the most popular plan in the state. Unfortunately, Plan F will be closed to new enrollees beginning in 2020. Many Arkansawyers are expected to move to Plans G or N if their health allows, since the remaining Plan F members will drive prices up for all members as they become less healthy with age.
Which Companies Offer Arkansas Medicare Supplement?
USAble Mutual Insurance sells over 65 percent of the Medigap plans in Arkansas. However, several other Medigap insurers have a large presence in the state. These include:
- United of Omaha Life Insurance / Omaha Insurance / United World Life
- Old Surety Life Insurance
- American Continental Life / Aetna
- Qualchoice Life & Health Insurance
- American Retirement Life Insurance / Cigna
Other Arkansas Medicare Supplement carriers include: American National Life Insurance, Americo, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Assured Life Association, Bankers Fidelity, Colonial Penn, Champion Life Insurance, Gerber, Governance Personnel Mutual Life Insurance, IAC, Manhattan Life Insurance Co., Medico, Philadelphia American Life Insurance Company, Physicians Mutual Insurance Company, S. USA Life Insurance Company, and USAA Life Insurance Company.
Which Medicare Supplement Plans Are Available in Arkansas?
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) is an insurance policy that covers the gaps in Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B). Medigap plans, which cover expenses such as copayments, coinsurance and deductibles, are government-designed but sold by private insurance companies.
You can apply for Medicare Supplement starting on the first day of the month you turn 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B. Most Medigap policies are community-rated in Arkansas, meaning that everyone pays the same amount regardless of their age or health status. In other words, the price of a plan won’t increase due to your age.
Arkansas allows all 10 standard Medigap plans. But keep in mind that carriers aren’t required to offer all of them. You’ll likely see more options if you live in a metropolitan area such as Little Rock, Fayetteville, or Fort Smith.
Under Age 65: As of July 1, 2018, Arkansas Medicare Supplement carriers must offer at least one policy to people who are under age 65 and receive Medicare due to disability. Although eligible disabled folks must have the opportunity to apply, companies are not required to enroll them nor do they have to limit the price of plans to a reasonable amount.
Why Is Medicare Supplement a Good Choice for Arkansans?
Community Rated Pricing: Unlike most states, all Medigap plans in Arkansas have community-rated pricing. This means that monthly premiums are priced (or “rated”) the same for everyone who has that plan. Your premium won’t go up due to age, but can increase because of other factors such as inflation. Premiums can also vary based on tobacco use and medical history.
No Origination Charges: “Policy fees” upon initial signup for Medicare Supplement are common in other states, but outlawed in Arkansas.
More Enrollment Chances: If your retiree employment coverage stops covering some Medicare benefits, you may be guaranteed a Medicare Supplement plan at the lowest possible rate. This is stricter than other states, which can limit your guaranteed issue right only to instances when you completely lose retiree employment coverage. A, B, C, F, K, L
Sample Arkansas Medicare Supplement Scenarios
Susan, a 65-year-old woman in Fayetteville could choose Medigap Plan B from a company on HealthCare.com for about $137 per month. It’s not the same thing as Medicare Part B, but it will help pay her Part B bills.
Plan B pays Susan’s out-of-pocket coverage for basic benefits such as Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs, and Medicare Part B coinsurance and copayments, hospice care, and preventive care. It’s similar to Plan A, but it also takes care of the Medicare Part A hospital deductible ($1,364 in 2019). Her most common health concerns would be covered in full, although she would have difficulty if admitted to an inpatient nursing facility or seen by a doctor who charges more than Medicare prices. Susan would pay $1,644 per year in premiums for this plan.
Tom, a 70-year-old man in Jonesboro could choose Medigap Plan G for about $122 per month. Once he meets the $185 Medicare Part B deductible, he won’t need to pay for any out-of-pocket costs, no matter how much medical care he received. Tom would pay $1,649 per year for this plan.
How to Buy an Arkansas Medicare Supplement Plan
It’s easy to compare local Medigap plans on HealthCare.com. All you need to do is enter your ZIP code to get free quotes from multiple carriers in your area.