Medicare Advantage (MA) plans usually provide more well-rounded coverage than what you get with Original Medicare. This page explains Medicare Advantage plans in Rhode Island and describes how the program works to help you choose the best plan for your unique needs.
What is Medicare Advantage in Rhode Island?
Also known as Medicare Part C, Medicare Advantage plans must provide the same coverage as Original Medicare (Part A, hospital insurance, and Part B, medical insurance). However, they may also provide additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage and fitness programs.
Rhode Island Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage
You can get your Original Medicare benefits plus Part D coverage with a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan (MA-PD). If you choose an MA plan that does not cover prescription medications, you'll need a standalone Medicare Part D plan.
Who is eligible for Medicare Advantage in Rhode Island?
Once you enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, you are eligible for Medicare Advantage in Rhode Island. American citizens and permanent legal residents age 65 and older qualify for Medicare.
You may be eligible for Medicare before turning 65 if you collect Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) or Social Security disability benefits for 24 months.
You get Parts A and B automatically if you qualify due to a disability. Those who "age" into Medicare are only automatically enrolled if they began collecting Social Security at least 4 months before their 65th birthday.
When can you sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan in Rhode Island?
There are five main Medicare Advantage enrollment periods in Rhode Island.
- The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) begins 3 months before your eligibility month and lasts for 7 months. So, if your birthday or 25th month of disability occurs in April, your IEP lasts from January 1 through July 31.
- If you don't sign up for Part A and/or Part B during your IEP, you may do so during the General Enrollment Period from January 1 through March 31. You then have from April 1 through June 30 to join an Advantage plan.
- You can also sign up for an MA plan during Medicare Annual Enrollment, which runs from October 15 through December 7.
- The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period from January 1 through March 31 is only for people who are currently enrolled in Medicare Part C. If this describes you, you can use this window to either switch to a new MA plan or return to Original Medicare.
- Special Enrollment Periods let you change your Medicare plan if you experience certain life changes, like moving. The full list of qualifying circumstances is on Medicare.gov.
Types of Medicare Advantage plans in Rhode Island
There are four main types of Medicare Advantage plans in Rhode Island:
- Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)
- Preferred provider networks (PPOs)
- Private fee-for-service plans (PFFS)
- Special needs plans (SNPs)
Private insurance companies provide Medicare Advantage plans. Check the individual plan to see what it covers.
How to choose a Medicare Advantage plan in Rhode Island
To find the best Medicare Advantage plan for your unique situation, look at the following metrics:
- Coverage (including the drug formulary of an MA-PD plan)
Our Find a Plan tool makes it easy to compare Medicare Advantage plans in Rhode Island. Just enter your location information to review Medicare plans in your area.
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