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Medicare in Iowa


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There were 605,872  Medicare beneficiaries in Iowa as of 2018, according to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) statistics.

Here’s a little background about Medicare. The federal government set up the Original Medicare program to provide health insurance to American citizens and permanent legal residents of at least five continuous years aged 65 and over. You may also qualify by disability and having certain health conditions, such as end-stage renal disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Original Medicare includes Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). It’s the same in Iowa as in other states.

It may be worth learning about the other Medicare plan options you may have in Iowa. For example, Original Medicare doesn’t include prescription drug coverage except in limited situations, so you might want to read on to find out how you can get this coverage.

You can add a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan to work alongside your Original Medicare coverage. Medicare Prescription Drug Plans are available from private insurance companies approved by Medicare.

Medicare prescription drug coverage is optional, but if you pass up this coverage when you’re first eligible for Medicare and then decide to add it later on, you could face a Medicare Part D late-enrollment penalty.

You may have another choice for getting your Medicare coverage in Iowa, whether or not you need prescription drug coverage. You may be able to get your Medicare benefits through a Medicare Advantage plan. Offered by private insurance companies that contract with Medicare, these plans include all your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits except for hospice care, which Medicare Part A still covers. But most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage, and may also extend other benefits to you, such as vision and hearing services. When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan, all your Medicare benefits come to you through a single plan.

No matter what type of Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan you might sign up for, you must keep paying your Medicare Part B premium, along with your plan premium if there is one.

Medicare resources in Iowa

Iowa Department on Aging: Iowa has a fast-growing population of citizens 60 years old and older, according to the department’s website. To help serve this growing demographic, the state government established this department as part of the federal directive of the Older Americans Act (OAA) of 1965. The Department on Aging coordinates state activities and community groups that are funded by the OAA, and it develops an ongoing State Plan on Aging. The Department on Aging also serves as a technical resource for any agency or organization serving the needs of older individuals. A few of the programs sponsored by the Iowa Department on Aging include:

  • Aging and disability resource centers
  • Case Management Program for Frail Elders
  • Elder abuse prevention and awareness programs
  • Nutrition program

Aging Resources of Central Iowa: This agency serves Des Moines and central Iowa area as the local Area Agency on Aging (AAA). As part of its mission, the agency serves Medicare beneficiaries, the aging population, their families, and caregivers by planning and coordinating services and help elders in the area maintain their independence. Staffed by a group of trained volunteers, Aging Resources offers case management for elders needing home-based services. Other services include family caregiver programs, provider information and assistance, and nutrition and health education.

Iowa Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP): This program provides free and confidential one-on-one assistance to Medicare beneficiaries in Iowa. Their group of highly trained volunteer counselors helps seniors make informed decisions about Medicare and other types of health coverage. SHIIP can help Medicare beneficiaries with questions about coverage, benefits, long-term care, and Medicare plan options. The website also provides numerous links and downloadable brochures.

Medicare statistics in Iowa

Here are some interesting statistics from CMS regarding Medicare in Iowa as of 2018:

  • There were 470,822 beneficiaries with Medicare prescription drug coverage.
  • 88,918 beneficiaries received this coverage through a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan.
  • 381,904 beneficiaries received this coverage through a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan.
  • CMS projects that 75% of the beneficiaries listed above have access to a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan in 2018 with lower premiums than they paid in 2017.
  • 31 Medicare Advantage plans were available in Iowa in 2018
  • 23 stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plans were available in Iowa in 2018
  • $20.40 was the lowest monthly premium for a Medicare prescription drug plan in 2018

Statistical data from Medicare Enrollment Dashboard and 2018 MA Part D Landscape State-by-State Fact Sheet

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.

This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply.

Benefits, premiums and/or copayments/co-insurance may change on January 1 of each year.

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