Medicare plays a key role in providing health and financial security to beneficiaries residing in Colorado. With more than 931,000 Colorado beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare, we’ll cover some very important information below about Medicare in Colorado. We want to help you better understand your options and make the decision-process as seamless as possible once you’re ready to enroll in Medicare or discover different coverage options.

Who Qualifies for Medicare in Colorado?

Medicare covers most Colorado residents who are 65 or older, and it also covers disabled Colorado residents. In general, Medicare enrollment in Colorado works the same way as it does in the rest of the country. If you qualify for Original Medicare, also known as Part A and Part B, it will help cover 80% of your health care costs.

When you’re first eligible for Medicare, you have a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B. If you’re eligible for Medicare when you turn 65, you can sign up during the 7-month period that:

  • Begins 3 months before the month you turn 65
  • Includes the month you turn 65
  • Ends 3 months after the month you turn 65

In most cases, if you don’t sign up for Part B when you’re first eligible, you’ll have to pay a late enrollment penalty. You’ll be responsible for paying this penalty for as long as you have Part B, and you could have a gap in your health coverage.

Once you reach Medicare eligibility, you can begin choosing additional coverage options to help pay for the remaining 20% of your medical expenses through Medicare Advantage (Part C), Medigap, and/or a Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) plan.

Who Qualifies for Medicare

Colorado Medicare Enrollments

522,168

Original Medicare Plans
(Part A and B)

409,302

Medicare Advantage & Other Health Plans

696,502

Stand-alone Medicare
Part D (Drug plans)

931,470

Total Medicare Beneficiaries
in Colorado

Colorado Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)

More than 44% of California Medicare beneficiaries select Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare Advantage plans are private, Medicare-approved insurance companies. They provide all of your Original Medicare benefits and often include extra benefits such as drug, dental, and vision coverage.

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period runs from January 1 to March 31. During this period, Medicare beneficiaries in Colorado who already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan can switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan or drop their Medicare Advantage plan and enroll in Original Medicare.

As of 2020, 73 Medicare Advantage plans are available in Colorado, and they are available in 63 of Colorado’s 64 counties. Residents in Baca County in Southeastern Colorado are unable to enroll in Medicare Advantage since there are no plans for sale in that specific county. Medicare Advantage plan availability in Colorado’s other 63 counties range from five plans to 29 plans, depending on the county.

The average monthly Medicare Advantage premium in Colorado changed from $19.37 in 2020 to $17.99 in 2020. $0 is the lowest monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage plan in Colorado. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), as of May 2020, there are 409,302 beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage and other plans in Colorado.

Colorado Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Insurance Plans

Colorado requires Medigap insurers to offer plans to disabled beneficiaries under age 65.

Medigap plans are used to supplement Original Medicare, covering some or all of the out-of-pocket costs (for coinsurance and deductibles) that beneficiaries would otherwise incur if they only had Original Medicare on its own. Typically, Medigap plans are popular for those who want little to no copay when they access healthcare services.

According to Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies, as of 2020, there are 42 insurers in Colorado that offer Medigap plans.

It’s recommended that Colorado Medicare beneficiaries enroll in a Medigap plan during their open enrollment period, which begins on your Medicare Part B effective date. During this six-month window, you’re able to enroll in a Medigap plan without underwriting and the insurance company can’t deny you coverage based on your health. Even after the open enrollment window has passed, you’re still able to apply for a Medigap policy anytime you’d like. But, you’re then required to answer health questions on the application, and the insurance company can decline you for certain pre-existing health conditions.

Additionally, Colorado Medigap carriers are required to make at least Medigap Plan A available to all beneficiaries, regardless of age. Medigap Plan A has the fewest individual benefits of the 10 standardized Medigap plans available in most states and covers:

  • Medicare Part A coinsurance payments up to an additional 365 days after Original Medicare benefits are exhausted
  • Medicare Part B copayment or coinsurance expenses
  • The first three pints of blood used in a medical procedure
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance expense or copayment

Colorado Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D)

Original Medicare doesn’t cover outpatient prescription drugs. However, Medicare beneficiaries can get prescription coverage via a Medicare Advantage plan, an employer-sponsored plan (offered by a current or former employer), or a stand-alone Part D plan. Medigap plans don’t cover prescription drugs unless they’re covered under Part B.

As of 2020, there are 352,726 Medicare beneficiaries in Colorado enrolled in stand-alone Part D plans and 344,914 beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage Prescription drug plans. For 2020 coverage, there are 26 stand-alone Part D plans available in Colorado, with premiums ranging from about $16 to $113 per month. All Medicare beneficiaries have access to a Medicare prescription drug plan.

When deciding on a Part D plan, it’s important to evaluate several factors such as each plan’s premium, formulary, and copays since every plan is different. Learn how you can save money on your out-of-pocket costs with a Medicare Advantage, Part D, or Medigap plan, fill out this form or give us a call.

Local Medicare Health Plan Resources in Colorado

  • Colorado State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP): SHIP, which is housed in the Division of Insurance, part of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), helps Medicare enrollees navigate the Medicare system, including Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans.
    Contact: Call 888-696-7213

  • Colorado Gerontology Society is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides advocacy, information, and assistance to Colorado seniors as well as education and networking for aging professionals since 1980. Older adults and their families are encouraged to call or visit CGS for assistance regarding housing options; nursing home placements; questions regarding health insurance; food supplies, or location of a geriatric physician.
    Contact: Call 303-333-3482. You can also send an email via the contact form on the organization’s website.

  • Medicare Savings Programs in Colorado (MSP): MSPs help people with limited income and resources pay for some or all of their Medicare premiums and may also pay their Medicare deductibles and coinsurance. In some cases, Medicare Savings Programs may also pay Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) deductibles and coinsurance. Medicare Savings Programs are a group of programs Colorado residents can apply for if they have Medicare. Medicare Buy-In is one of the benefits of the Medicare Savings Programs.

  • Centura Senior Links is one of the largest healthcare networks in Colorado with more than 21,000 professionals, 17 hospitals, and over 100 practices. Centura Senior Links are community-based experts that work with you to find the right coverage and services to meet your health care and social needs. We work with local health alliances to advocate for the health care needs of our communities.
    Contact: Call 1-866-550-2752

The licensed agents that are partnered with Timefor65 can help you compare the availability, benefits, and costs of Medicare plans in your specific region of Colorado. Our process makes it easier for you to access your Medicare eligibility in Colorado so that you receive personalized, affordable, and easy-to-use coverage options and solutions. Fill out the form or give us a call at (866) 327‑0148 anytime to get a free quote or to ask any questions.

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