In 2019, over 1.6 million New Jersey residents were enrolled in Medicare, up from just over 1.5 million the year before, and the number will increase this year as well. Perhaps you are counting yourself among those people for the first time this year, or you are taking a look at how you might like your enrollment to change. Either way, there are several options from which to choose.
Original Medicare is what you are automatically enrolled in once you become eligible. For Original Medicare plans, NJ residents have the same options most Americans have. Divided into two parts, often referred to as Medicare A and B, this is the most basic coverage that seniors, or younger persons with disabilities or certain medical conditions (end-stage renal failure, Lou Gehrig's disease) can receive.
These most basic plans do not always cover everything you may need. This is where other plans can come in.
For those that want their Medicare to cover more than the base government package, New Jersey recipients can choose a Medicare Advantage plan, which are government-approved plans through private insurance companies. They are required to cover everything that Original Medicare covers, but in addition, they might offer services like vision and dental, as well as prescription drug coverage.
You qualify for these plans if you are enrolled in Original Medicare, live in the service area for the plan of your choice, and do not have end-stage renal disease (Starting in 2021 this will not be disqualifying). Each plan may differ based upon their costs and covered services.
Original Medicare recipients in New Jersey who require financial assistance can look to the NJ Save program, an online application that helps low-income and disabled recipients handle the costs of prescription drugs and premiums. You can also ask a Medicare broker about Medigap plans, designed to fill in the "gaps" in regular Medicare coverage. Standalone prescription drug coverage plans are also common options.
Do you have questions about NJ Medicare plans? Would you like personalized assistance in handling your Medicare concerns? Contact New Jersey Medicare Brokers to speak to an agent in your area for free.