Your Guide To Alabama Medicare Plans

23 minute read| Updated for August, 2020
Key Takeaways:
  • There are nearly 50 Alabama Medicare Advantage plans and 36 Medicare Supplement insurers in the state
  • Your healthcare costs and coverage depend on which Medicare path you choose
  • The best Medicare plan isn’t always the one with the lowest monthly premium. Benefits and cost-sharing are also important factors to consider
  • Most Alabama Medicare Advantage plans include extra benefits that aren’t available with Original Medicare, such as routine vision and dental care
  • You can apply for Alabama Medicare Supplement plans at any time, but you only have guaranteed approval during the Medigap Open Enrollment

Over 1 million people are enrolled in Medicare in Alabama, and nearly 750,000 of these enrollees have Medicare prescription drug coverage, according to the latest Medicare statistics.

Some of the links on this page may link to our affiliates. Learn more about our ad policies.

With 49 Medicare Advantage plans, 29 prescription drug plans, and 36 Medicare Supplement plans available in the state, you need accurate information to find the best coverage.

The good news is that most people are happy with their Medicare coverage. In fact, a Morning Consult poll showed nine in 10 seniors were satisfied with their plan. Once you know your Medicare Alabama options, chances are good you’ll find a great plan to fit your needs. Here’s what you need to know to choose the best Alabama Medicare plan for you.

With 49 Medicare Advantage plans, 29 prescription drug plans, and 36 Medicare Supplement plans available in Alabama, you need accurate information to find the best coverage.

Medicare Alabama Health Plans

When you enroll in Medicare, you choose one of two “paths” for coverage:

  • Original Medicare (known as Medicare Part A and Part B) plus standalone a Part D prescription drug plan and a Medicare Supplement plan; OR
  • Medicare Advantage with a Part D prescription drug plan

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), every Alabaman has access to several different Medicare Advantage plans, and enrollment is increasing every month. As of April 2020, 55% of Alabama Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Original Medicare, and 45% had a Medicare Advantage plan.

If you choose to enroll in Medicare Advantage, you will get all of your healthcare benefits in one plan. Most Medicare Advantage plans include Part D prescription drug coverage. Over 90% include additional benefits, such as routine dental and vision coverage, and also fitness plan discounts and lifestyle.

Original Medicare vs Alabama Medicare Advantage

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) Medicare Advantage
Service area Can use any provider in the country that accepts Medicare Generally limited to your local area*; may have provider network restrictions
Premium Most people qualify for premium-free Part A; the Part B premium for 2020 is $144.60 Must pay the Part B premium plus any additional monthly premium charged by your plan
Deductible Part A: $1,408 (you may pay this multiple times per year) Part B: $198 annual deductible Varies by plan; you generally pay just one deductible per year
Prescription drug coverage Not included, you must buy a standalone Part D plan Typically included
Annual out-of-pocket maximum None Varies by plan, but cannot exceed $6,700**
Can it be combined with Alabama Medicare Supplement plan? Yes No


**Medicare sets the annual out-of-pocket maximum each year

*Except for emergency care

Medicare Advantage Plans Alabama

All Medicare beneficiaries are eligible to enroll in Alabama Medicare Advantage plans. You can’t be turned down for pre-existing conditions or health status.

Depending on where you live, you can choose from among 10 to 35 different Medicare Advantage plans. Private insurers such as Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, and UnitedHealthcare each offer plans with different levels of coverage and costs.

  • Premiums range from $0 per month for certain HMO plans to more than $150 per month for some PPO plans. The average Medicare Advantage premium is $23.
  • Deductibles vary, but the average Medicare Advantage deductible is $121, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
  • Maximum out-of-pocket costs range from $3,200 to $6,700, the 2020 maximum allowed by CMS.
  • Cost-sharing varies, but some Alabama Medicare Advantage plans have $0 copays for primary and specialist care visits. Most charge a flat copayment for outpatient tests and procedures.
  • Expanded benefits may be available with some Alabama Medicare Advantage plans. These include home grocery and meal delivery, private transportation, and caregiver support.

Depending on where you live, you can choose from among 10 to 35 different Medicare Advantage plans. Private insurers such as Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, and UnitedHealthcare each offer plans with different levels of coverage and costs.

What to Know About Alabama Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage

Most Medicare Advantage plans include Part D, and you won’t pay a separate monthly premium. Also noteworthy, Medicare Part D is private insurance, so each plan may have slightly different costs. However, CMS does cap the annual deductible, which is set at $435 in 2020. Not all plans have a separate Part D deductible.

Each plan uses a formulary, which is a list of covered medications and the price you pay for each. If you take daily medications, it’s important to check the plan formulary to make sure your prescription drug is covered.

How to Choose an Alabama Medicare Part D Plan

Compare Costs Check Formulary Approve Network
Monthly premium Daily medications covered? Are there network restrictions?
Deductible Any restrictions (quantity limits, prior authorization)? Is the network national?
Copayments Low or $0 copays for generic medications? Is there a mail-order pharmacy discount option?

Medicare Supplement Plans in Alabama

Medicare Supplement plans help pay your out-of-pocket costs with Original Medicare. They cannot be used to help pay your prescription drug costs with Part D.

Although these are private insurance plans, benefits are standardized by Medicare. In other words, Aetna’s Plan G has the same benefits as Cigna’s Plan G. The only significant difference is the monthly premium.

Alabama is one of the few states that doesn’t require insurers to sell Medicare Supplement plans to Medicare beneficiaries who are under age 65. This means that you can buy any Medicare Supplement plan sold in Alabama without answering questions about your health if you buy during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This period begins the month you are both age 65 or over and enrolled in Part B, and the time window remains open to enroll for six months thereafter.

If you don’t buy a plan during Open Enrollment, the insurer can require you to go through the medical underwriting process. If this happens, you could be turned down for coverage due to pre-existing health conditions. For this reason, if you think you want a Medicare Supplement plan, you should buy it as soon as you are eligible.

If you’re new to Medicare in Alabama, the choices can be overwhelming. But if you know your options and how Medicare coverage works, you’ll be better prepared to find the right plan. Although not all plans are available in every Alabama county, you should be able to get the coverage you need no matter where you live in the state.