Medicare plays a key role in providing health and financial security to beneficiaries residing in Nebraska. With more than 351,400 Nebraska beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare, we’ll cover some very important information below about Medicare in Nebraska. 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 Nebraska?

Medicare covers most Nebraska residents who are 65 or older, and it also covers disabled Nebraska residents. In general, Medicare enrollment in Nebraska 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

Nebraska Medicare Enrollments

281,371

Original Medicare Plans
(Part A and B)

70,122

Medicare Advantage & Other Health Plans

200,760

Stand-alone Medicare
Part D (Drug plans)

351,493

Total Medicare Beneficiaries
in Nebraska

Nebraska Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)

Only 17% of Nebraska 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 Nebraska 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, 27 Medicare Advantage plans are available in Nebraska. The average monthly Medicare Advantage premium changed from $13.75 in 2019 to $13.27 in 2020. $0 is the lowest monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage plan in Nebraska. All 56 of Nebraska’s counties have Medicare Advantage plans available. The availability of Medicare Advantage plans can range from one to nine, depending on the county.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as of May 2020, there are 70,122 beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage and other plans in Nebraska. Only 17% of Nebraska Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in a private Medicare Advantage plan in 2019. 100% of people with Medicare have access to a Medicare Advantage plan.

Although most counties throughout the United States have Medicare Advantage plans available for purchase, Nebraska has quite a few areas where Original Medicare is the only option available. Out of Nebraska’s 93 counties, 67 counties have Medicare Advantage available.

Nebraska Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Insurance Plans

Half of Nebraska’s Medicare population has supplemental coverage through Medigap plans.

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.

There are two initial times to enroll in a Medigap plan before and after you turn 65:

  • 6 months prior to turning 65
  • Once you turn 65, your 6 month period begins the month you enroll in Part B

During this period, an insurance company can’t use medical underwriting. 

There are 48 insurers in Nebraska that offer Medigap plans. Half of Nebraska’s Medicare population has supplemental coverage through Medigap plans. Although the majority of states ensure some access to private Medigap plans for disabled enrollees under the age of 65, Medigap insurers in Nebraska aren’t required to offer overage to people under 65 years old.

Nebraska 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 200,760 Medicare beneficiaries in Nebraska enrolled in stand-alone Part D prescription drug plans and 61,539 enrolled in Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans. For 2020 coverage, there are 29 stand-alone Part D plans available in Nebraska, with premiums ranging from about $15 to $94 per month. About 19% of people with a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan get Extra Help (also called the low-income subsidy, or LIS).

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 Nebraska

  • Nebraska SHIIP educates people with Medicare, empowering seniors, and people with disabilities to make informed decisions about health insurance. Nebraska SHIP offers a toll-free hotline that any person eligible for Medicare, relatives, friends, or providers can call for answers to insurance questions or arrange a meeting with a SHIP counselor.

    Nebraska SHIP has a statewide network of certified counselors and partner organizations. Our counselors receive extensive training on Medicare and related health insurance. Counselors are available to meet for one-on-one counseling, to help with problem-solving, and to provide support during decision making. SHIP counselors will not recommend policies, companies, or insurance agents, but will provide free, confidential, and unbiased assistance. An important role of SHIP is to provide outreach and education regarding health insurance options, benefits, and choices. SHIP participates in outreach activities, presentations, media activities, and Part D enrollment events.
    Contact: Call 1-800-234-7119

  • Volunteers Assisting Seniors aims to keep retired individuals active in the community by helping their peers and to keep seniors from feeling lost in an often-complicated and ever-changing world. The overall objectives of VAS are: to provide training and professional guidance to senior volunteers to increase their knowledge and maximize their effectiveness in providing VAS services; and to assist senior citizens in securing their full entitlements and benefits from the agencies and programs established for them.
    Contact: Call 1-800-234-7119

  • Nebraska’s Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC): ADRC is for Nebraskans aged 60 years or older, people with disabilities of all ages, family members, caregivers, and advocates. Local ADRCs provide information, referral, and assistance for accessing community services and long-term care options.
    Contact: Call 844-843-6364 or to find the closest ADRC site visit ADRC Sites Map.

  • Nebraska’s Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC): ADRC is for Nebraskans aged 60 years or older, people with disabilities of all ages, family members, caregivers, and advocates. Local ADRCs provide information, referral, and assistance for accessing community services and long-term care options.
    Contact: Call 844-843-6364 or to find the closest ADRC site visit ADRC Sites Map.

  • The Nebraska Department of Insurance – Consumer Affairs Division provides assistance in all types of insurance matters throughout Nebraska. Those who need help understanding Medicare Advantage policies or who wish to file a complaint about their provider can contact this department for assistance.
    Contact: Call 877-564-7323, 402-471-0888, or email [email protected].

  • Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging (ENOA): ENOA serves families in Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Cass, and Washington counties. ENOA’s role is to ensure that older adults have access to a continuum of services that help them to remain active, independent, and in their own homes for as long as possible. ENOA serves as a gateway to aging services that already exist in the community and also operates its own programs that fill previously unmet needs in the five-county area.
    Contact: Call 888-554-2711

  • Aging Partners serves Butler, Filmore, Polk, Saline, Saunders, Seward, and York Counties. Aging Partners is a senior advocacy and social support agency that provides a broad range of services to those aged 60 and older, including Medicare and Medicaid counseling.
    Contact: 1-800-247-0938

  • Area Agency on Aging: The Agency on Aging is located in Kearney, Nebraska, and was established in 1973 to serve individuals 60 plus and their spouses. At present, the Agency provides services to the following fourteen counties: Blaine, Loup, Garfield, Wheeler, Custer, Valley, Greeley, Sherman, Buffalo, Phelps, Kearney, Furnas, Harlan, and Franklin. The programs include Health and Nutrition, Legal, Care Management, Senior Care Options, Medicaid Waiver, Insurance Counseling, Caregiver Assistance, SMP, and Information/Assistance.
    Contact: Call 1-800-658-4320

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 Nebraska. Our process makes it easier for you to access your Medicare eligibility in Nebraska 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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