Welcome to HealthTN’s resource for Tennessee Medicare eligible and senior health insurance. Medicare (and health care in general) is quite a maze, and we’re here to help you navigate it.
There are two ways to be eligible for Medicare. One is to turn the age of 65, and the other is to have a qualifying disease or disability. ALS (Lou Gherig’s Disease) and ESRD (End-Stage Renal Disease) are the only qualifying diseases that can qualify you for Medicare. If you have another long-term disability, you can qualify for Medicare if you receive Social Security Disability Insurance for at least 24 months.
Tennessee Medicare options can be overwhelming at first glance, but we can break it down. You’ll want to start by looking at the four main types of coverage available:
You’ll need to start by enrolling in Original Medicare, the federally-funded government program. You will start with Part A, which covers hospital, nursing facility, hospice, and some home health services. Then, you’ll need to add Part B, which covers doctor visits, laboratory tests and x-rays, ambulance transportation if necessary, mental health, and some medical equipment.
Once you have your Original Medicare, you can decide if you want to add prescription drug coverage (which we recommend). Keep in mind that if you do not select a form of prescription drug coverage when you are first eligible for Medicare, you’ll need to pay the “late enrollment penalty fee.” You can add prescription drug coverage by enrolling in a “Part D” prescription drug plan, or by selecting a Medicare plan from an insurance carrier that includes a prescription benefit.
Insurance carriers are able to offer Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans that comply with Medicare laws but are not owned by Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans in Tennessee commonly include additional benefits like prescription drugs, dental, vision, hearing, fitness, transportation, and more. Medicare Supplement plans (otherwise known as Medigap), on the other hand, are additions to your Original Medicare that provide coverage for your existing deductibles, copayments, and other out-of-pocket costs. Some Medicare Supplement plans include prescription drug coverage, but for the most part, they are designed to cover your out-of-pocket costs.
As you may know, you cannot enroll in Medicare during any time of the year. If you are enrolling for the first time near your 65th birthday, you have a seven month initial enrollment window surrounding your birthday. If you develop a chronic illness or disability or if you lose your current coverage for any reason, you can enroll during a “Special Enrollment Period.” If you already have Medicare, most people will be able to switch plans once per year during the “Annual Enrollment Period.”
Ready to get help from a Medicare agent near you? Our sister organization has agents in every county throughout the state of Tennessee that can help you find the best plan for your needs and help you find out what you qualify for. To set up an appointment, complete this form or call Medicare Plan Finder at 833-438-3676.
*If you are looking for Medicaid instead of Medicare, click here for more information about TennCare, the Tennessee Medicaid program.
At HealthTN.com we have been serving Medicare Beneficiaries in West, Middle and East Tennessee for years. We’ve currently serve over 15,000 Tennesseans with all aspects of their health insurance needs. Can’t get out to see an agent? No problem We have trustworthy Local Tennessee Medicare Agents, in house, from all surrounding areas of Tennessee. Our agents can connect with you in minutes or meet with you in as little as 24 hours. Thank you for the chance to serve you and your families Health and Medicare needs! Make sure to check out our useful tools and info on student, senior, and small business healthcare.