Medicare in Nebraska
This article was updated on: 09/16/2018
Nebraska residents have two main choices when deciding how to receive their Medicare benefits. You may opt for the federal arm of the program, called Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, or you may choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plan instead. Even if you enroll in a Part C plan, you must continue paying your Part B premium.
Types of Medicare coverage in Nebraska
Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, includes hospital insurance through Part A and medical insurance under Part B.
Medicare Advantage (Part C) is Medicare insurance offered through private insurance companies contracted with Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans must provide the same amount of coverage as Part A and Part B, but some plans include additional benefits, such as routine vision and dental services, or prescription drug coverage. Not every plan may be available in each county of Nebraska.
Medicare Part D is optional prescription drug coverage. Original Medicare beneficiaries can add Medicare Part D coverage by enrolling in a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, which provides prescription drug coverage that works alongside Medicare Part A and/or Part B. People with Medicare Advantage can get Medicare Part D coverage through a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan. Not every Medicare Part D plan may be available in each county of Nebraska.
Medicare Supplement insurance, also called Medigap, plans give Nebraska beneficiaries who are enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B the option to supplement their Original Medicare coverage. Medigap plans may cover Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and other out-of-pocket costs.
Local resources for Medicare beneficiaries in Nebraska
- Medicare Savings Programs in Nebraska: Low-income beneficiaries in Nebraska may be eligible for programs that offer help with out-of-pocket expenses like premiums and coinsurance. Even if you’re not sure you’ll qualify, you can apply for a Medicare Savings Program to see if you’re eligible for financial assistance.
- Nebraska State Health Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program (SHIP): The Nebraska Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) is a free counseling service that offers beneficiaries educational information about Medicare.
How to apply for Medicare
You apply for Original Medicare in Nebraska the same as in any other state. To qualify for Medicare, you must be either a United States citizen or a legal permanent resident of at least five continuous years. Some residents may be enrolled automatically once they reach age 65 if they already receive Social Security Administration (SSA) or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits. Disabled residents may be eligible for Medicare before age 65 if they receive Social Security disability benefits, or certain disability benefits through the Railroad Retirement Board for more than 24 consecutive months.
If you have to apply for Medicare manually, you can visit your local Social Security office in person. You may also register online as SSA.gov or do so over the phone.
- Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday, 7AM to 7PM.
- If you worked for a railroad, call the Railroad Retirement Board at 1-877-772-5772 (TTY users call 312-751-4701), Monday through Friday, 9AM to 3:30PM.
When looking to enroll in a Medicare Advantage, Medigap, or Medicare Part D plan, you may contact the plan directly, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Before deciding on a Medicare plan in Nebraska, you may want to familiarize yourself with all your options. I’d be glad to help you sort through all the choices; to learn a little bit about me, feel free to click “View profile” by my picture. To set up a call or request more information by email, you can click on the links below. Maybe you’d like to browse through the plans before talking to anyone—if so, just click on the Compare Plans button to the right.