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Medicare in California

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In 2018 the total number of Medicare beneficiaries in California was over 6 million according to statistics from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This means California has more Medicare beneficiaries than any other state. This represents the total number of Californians enrolled in Medicare – either with Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage (Part C), or Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D).

California offers a variety of resources to its residents to help Medicare beneficiaries understand and navigate their coverage.

Medicare resources in California

California Department of Aging: The California Department of Aging provides a wide range of services and resources to older residents, including information for caregivers, disabled individuals, and those with limited income. Whether you’re a caregiver seeking resources to help your loved one or an older adult trying to find information on local community resources, the CA Department of Aging is a good place to start. This state government agency also offers assistance for those seeking information general information about the Medicare program, as well as Medicare plan options available in the state. The Department of Aging offers the following programs:

  • Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) – This multi-faceted program provides Medicare beneficiaries in California with both online and in-person assistance. HICAP is part of the federal State Health Insurance and Assistance Program (SHIP) network and offers unbiased assistance for beneficiaries with questions about their Medicare coverage.
  • Family Caregiver Support Program – Caring for a loved one can be challenging, and this California state program provides respite services, counseling, and certain support services for eligible individuals.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) – This program seeks to promote a healthy lifestyle and prevent obesity among older adults. SNAP-Ed specifically focuses on assisting low-income seniors with nutrition education and wellness programs that promote safe ways for seniors to stay active.

California Department of Insurance: The California Department of Insurance offers a wealth of insurance information for California residents, insurance companies, and brokers. 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. On its website, you can use a free tool to compare health-care quality and costs; file a consumer complaint; or find resources specifically for older adults, including Medicare and Medi-Cal information.

Medicare statistical trends in California

California residents have many Medicare coverage options available to them. Here are some recent Medicare trends in the state:

  • In 2018, roughly 3.4 million California beneficiaries were enrolled in Original Medicare, the federally administered program; about 2.6 million beneficiaries received Medicare coverage through Medicare Advantage or other type of coverage.
  • In 2018, Medicare Advantage plans continue to be widely available in the state, with 97% of Californians with Medicare having access to a plan.
  • In 2018, Medicare prescription drug coverage continues to be more affordable, and 84% of California beneficiaries with Part D had access to Medicare prescription drug coverage with a lower premium than they paid in 2017.
  • 266 Medicare Advantage plans are available in California and 25 Medicare prescription drug plans are available in California in 2018

Interested in learning more about Medicare coverage in California? Just enter your zip code into the tool on this page to get started.

Statistical data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, “Medicare Enrollment Dashboard,” and “2018 MA Part D Landscape State-by-State Fact Sheet.”

Data in this article was checked when the article was written and might not be updated as newer data becomes available.

This website and its contents are for informational purposes only. Nothing on the website should ever be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult with your medical provider regarding diagnosis or treatment for a health condition, including decisions about the correct medication for your condition, as well as prior to undertaking any specific exercise or dietary routine.

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