Best Kentucky Medicare Companies

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Contributor, Benzinga
December 17, 2019

Quick Look: The Best Medicare in Kentucky

Medicare offers essential health coverage and Kentucky Medicare plans can help with those costs. Curious about which health plan to choose? Here’s everything you need to know about Medicare plans, keeping in mind that while it pairs well with Social Security, they are not the same.

Best Medicare Insurance Providers in Kentucky

Ready to choose a Medicare plan? Remember, you are looking at prescription drug coverage, various coverage options, outpatient care, inpatient care, preventative services and traditional health coverage. Here are the 5 best Medicare insurance providers in Kentucky, based on our research:

1. Best Overall in Kentucky: UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare plans are highly rated by Medicare for customer service. It has 4.5 out of 5 stars overall and 5 out of 5 stars for customer service. AARP endorses its Medicare plans. UnitedHealthcare offers PPO and HMO plans with low monthly premiums. It also offers Medicare supplement plans and standalone prescription plans. Its Medicare Advantage plans provide additional benefits such as dental care, vision coverage and virtual care. 

2. Most Affordable in Kentucky: Humana

Humana offers multiple plans with no monthly premium, which makes it the most affordable plan on our list. It also has 4 out of 5 stars from Medicare, which means it doesn’t compromise on service or health care. Humana’s Medicare Advantage plans also have low deductibles and copays, which keeps your out-of-pocket costs down, too. Humana also offers an allowance to pay for over-the-counter medications and supplies and free transportation to appointments. 

3. Best for Dual Eligibility: Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield offers several Medicare Advantage Plans in Kentucky. Its MediBlue Dual Advantage plan is where it really stands out. This plan has no monthly premium, no deductible and no copays. The plan serves people who have Medicare and Medicaid. It includes dental coverage, vision coverage, hearing exams and transportation. You can also choose an additional benefit without paying extra. Some of the additional options include a personal home helper or an allowance to use toward caring for a service animal. 

4. Best for PPO: Aetna

A PPO plan might be a good fit if you want the freedom to see any provider you want. Aetna covers in-network and out-of-network providers. You may pay more for seeing an out-of-network provider. You can see a network provider anywhere in the U.S. and still pay the in-network copays. That means that even if you travel, you can get the health care you need. Aetna also provides free membership at fitness facilities, hearing aid coverage, dental coverage and vision coverage. 

5. Best for MSA: Lasso Healthcare

Looking for something different? Lasso Healthcare is unique. It’s a medical savings account. When you sign up for Lasso, you don’t pay a premium. Instead, Lasso deposits $3,240 into an MSA. Your Lasso MSA plan has a $7,400 deductible, which means you’re responsible for $4,160 in costs. Once you meet your plan deductible using the money from Lasso and your own funds, Lasso covers all your out-of-pocket Medicare costs. You may also want to purchase a prescription drug (Part D) plan.  

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a health insurance program. In general, people can start Medicare at age 65. Medicare has multiple parts, and Parts A and B are Original Medicare. 

  • Part A: Part A is hospital insurance. Most people receive Part A without paying a premium. It covers:
    • Inpatient hospital care
    • Inpatient skilled nursing care
    • Hospice care
    • Home health care
  • Part B: Part B covers other medical care. Most people pay a monthly premium for Part B. It covers:
    • Services from health care providers like doctors and nurse practitioners
    • Outpatient care
    • Home health care
    • Medical equipment
  • Part C: Part C of Medicare is completely different. Part C is a separate plan, called a Medicare Advantage plan. These plans may or may not have a monthly premium. They may include prescription coverage. These plans bundle your Part A and Part B services together. They offer lower out-of-pocket costs than you would have with just Parts A and B. These plans may also include additional benefits like dental and vision coverage, benefits for hearing aids and fitness club memberships. 
  • Part D: Part D offers prescription coverage. You have to purchase Part D coverage. You can buy it bundled into a Part C plan or you can purchase a standalone Part D plan. 

Most people receive Parts A and B automatically. You can also choose to purchase a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) or Medicare supplemental insurance. A Medicare supplement is a separate plan that pays after Medicare. Medicare supplement plans are like Medicare Advantage plans in that they help lower your out-of-pocket costs. If you buy a Medicare supplement, you may also want to buy a Part D plan to cover your prescriptions. 

You do not need to buy a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medicare supplement plan. In fact, you can’t have both types of plans. You should consider both types of plans and choose the one that’s the best fit for you. 

Legalities of Medicare in Kentucky

The Department of Health and Human Services oversees Medicare. Social Security handles some administrative aspects, like enrolling in Medicare if you aren’t enrolled automatically. 

Most people receive Medicare starting the first day of the month they turn 65. You can also receive Medicare if you’re under 65 and qualify for disability benefits through Social Security. In that case, benefits start after you have received Social Security disability benefits for 24 months. Social Security automatically enrolls you in Social Security disability benefits for Medicare beginning on the first day of your 25th month of benefits. 

You may receive Social Security benefits due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and you’ll receive Medicare as soon as your benefits start. You’ll also be eligible for Medicare if you have end-stage renal disease. Contact Social Security to sign up. 

Types of Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage plans typically have a network. Here are the most common types of Medicare Advantage plans:

HMO: Health maintenance organization (HMO) plans have a network. In most situations, you’ll need to seek care from providers in your network. Some plans allow you to go outside your network, but you pay more for those services. You also need to get a referral to see a specialist. 

PPO: Preferred provider organization (PPO) plans also involve a network. You can see providers outside of your network, but it costs more. You don’t need to get a referral to see a specialist. 

SNP: Special needs plans are for people who have specific health conditions or who have Medicare and Medicaid. These plans are typically localized and offer coordinated care for members. 

Medicare Advantage plans may include prescription coverage. Check plan details carefully to confirm your plan has the benefits you need. 

How to Sign Up for Medicare in Kentucky

Already receiving Social Security? You’ll start Medicare automatically the month you turn 65. Social Security will deduct your Part B premium from your Social Security benefits and send it to Medicare.

If you’re not getting Social Security, you will need to contact Social Security to enroll. Currently working and receiving employer-sponsored health insurance? You may want to delay starting Part B. Contact your health insurance provider or human resources department to find out whether you should take Part B. 

You can enroll in Medicare Parts A and B during your initial enrollment period. This period starts 6 months before you turn 65 and ends 6 months after you turn 65. Let’s say you turn 65 in April. Your enrollment period would start on January 1 and end July 31. In most cases, you should enroll in Part A since you probably won’t pay a premium. 

You may be entitled to a special enrollment period if you don’t enroll in Part B during your initial enrollment. You receive a special enrollment if you have group coverage that ends. You can sign up while you still have coverage and for 8 months after your coverage ends. Your special enrollment lasts until March 31 if your coverage ends in July. 

Medicare also offers a general enrollment period each year. If you missed your other windows, you can enroll in Parts A and B from January 1 to March 31 each year. Coverage begins on July 1. 

Average Cost of Medicare Advantage Plans in Kentucky

What kind of coverage will you get with Kentucky’s plans? Here’s a closer look at Kentucky’s Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans:

Plan NameCompany Plan TypeHealth Plan DeductibleDrug Plan Deductible
HumanaChoice H5216-107HumanaPPO$0$0
AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 3UnitedHealthcareHMO$0$195
WellCare EliteWellCareHMO$0$0
Anthem MediBlue PlusAnthem Blue Cross and Blue ShieldHMO$0$0
WellCare DividendWellCareHMO$100$0

Your deductible is the amount you pay toward covered services before your plan benefits begin. Plans also have copays. Copays are set amounts you pay for services. For example, the WellCare Dividend plan has a $0 copay for primary doctor visits and a $40 copay for specialist visits. This means that when you see your primary doctor, you won’t pay anything. Depending on the plan, you may have to meet your deductible before you pay copays. 

Choose the Right Plan for You

Look at the details when you’re considering plan options. The monthly premium is important, but the deductible and copays are important, too. Keep an eye on the plan’s out-of-pocket maximums as well. This is the most you’ll pay out of pocket over a year. 

Make sure you have a plan for how you will meet your deductible if you opt for a high-deductible plan or an MSA. You might want to set aside some money each month to help pay for your out-of-pocket costs. Many plans can work for you. Contact Kentucky’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) at 1-877-293-7447 if you’re unsure of your options. 

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the different parts of Medicare?


Medicare has 4 parts named Parts A, B, C, and D. Part A provides hospitalization coverage while Part B provides outpatient coverage, like doctor visits. Parts A and B make up Medicare’s core coverages. Part C is provides private-market Medicare plans, called Medicare Advantage Plans. Part C coverage often includes additional benefits. Medicare Part D provides coverage for prescription drugs. Get a Medicare Insurance Quote through the top providers here.


Is Medicare free?


Because there are 4 parts to Medicare, there can be different cost structures. Most people won’t have to pay for Medicare Part A (hospitalization). Eligibility for premium-free Part A is based on your work history during which you paid Medicare taxes. Many people do pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part B, however, which covers outpatient medical services, like doctor visits. Deductibles also apply to services covered under Medicare Parts A and B, so you’ll pay a part of the annual cost.

Medicare Parts C and D are optional coverages and have premium costs of their own. Medicare Part C refers to Medicare Advantage Plans that offer additional coverage in exchange for a monthly premium. Part D, the prescription plan, reduces the cost of medications but also requires a monthly premium. Subsidies may be available for low income households to help reduce overall Medicare costs.


Do I need to sign up for Medicare?


If you signed up for Social Security before age 65, you were enrolled in Medicare automatically but benefits will begin at age 65. In most cases, there are penalties for not enrolling at age 65, so it pays to sign up on time. Click here to get a medicare quote in minutes from the best providers. 

If you have employer coverage, you may be able to delay Medicare coverage while your work plan is still in force. However, the size of the employer determines whether you’ll pay a penalty for not enrolling at age 65. Employees (and their spouses) of companies that offer group health insurance to 20 or more people are usually exempt from late sign-up penalties if they are covered by the employer’s plan.

About Melinda Sineriz

Melinda specializes in writing about mortgages. student loans, personal loans, insurance, managing credit and debt, and credit cards.