California Medicare

California Medicare
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California Medicare Plans

The total number of California Medicare beneficiaries in 2012 was 5,000,198, which comprised 13% of the total population in the state, according to statistics from the Kaiser Family Foundation. To help millions of beneficiaries navigate and understand the details of Medicare plans available to them, the state offers a variety of resources to its residents.

California private insurance companies approved by Medicare include:

  • Blue Shield of California
  • Anthem Blue Cross
  • United of Omaha
  • WellCare
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • Humana

Medicare Resources in California

California Department of Aging - The California Department of Aging provides a wide range of services and resources to older residents. This state government agency also offers assistance for those seeking information about California Medicare plans or general information about the Medicare program. The Department of Aging offers the following programs:

  • Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) - This multi-faceted program delves into a wide range of issues facing California Medicare beneficiaries and provides both online and in-person assistance.
  • SMP - Formerly known as Senior Medicare Patrol, this office is dedicated to educating beneficiaries how to prevent fraud and report claim errors.
  • Legal Services - Retirees can use legal services available through the Department of Aging for a wide range of issues, including those related to Medicare.

California Health Advocates - This non-profit organization was founded in 1997 and quickly became the leading advocacy and information center for California Medicare plans. This organization provides a variety of information for beneficiaries, including news, fact sheets and podcasts. Both English and Spanish versions of their material are available. The organization also supports HICAP and provides additional resources on fraud to support resources offered by SMP. While there is a cost for an annual subscription to this organization, there are many free resources that can be downloaded at no charge. In addition, the organization offers links to other California Medicare resources and national agencies.

California Department of Insurance - The California Department of Insurance offers insurance protection for every resident in the state, including Medicare beneficiaries. The agency has been in operation since 1868, although it has seen many changes since that time. The department primarily serves as a regulatory agency, but it also provides education on a wide range of insurance options available to California Medicare beneficiaries.

Medicare Insurance Trends in California

Here are some interesting trends regarding Medicare in California:

  • There were 1,809,812 California Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • The state offered a total of 210 Medicare Advantage Plans to eligible beneficiaries.
  • The total number of Medicare beneficiaries with supplemental insurance was 4,900,501.
  • 45% of California Medicare beneficiaries were male, and 55% were female.
  • California had a diverse ethnic blend of Medicare beneficiaries, with 60% white, 19% Hispanic, 7% black, and 14% of another race or ethnicity.
  • There were 4,126,816 California Medicare beneficiaries that also had a prescription drug plan.
  • Of the total Medicare beneficiaries in California, 1,202,393 lived 150% below the federal poverty level.
  • In addition to the retired California Medicare beneficiaries, 748,043 were eligible for social security disability insurance.
  • The state of California spent $10,954 per Medicare beneficiary throughout the year.
  • California increased spending for each Medicare beneficiary by 5.9% between 1991 and 2009.

Data provided by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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