Medicare in Oregon

Victoria Burke by Victoria Burke | Licensed since 2011
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This article was updated on: 09/16/2018

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Looking for a Medicare plan in Oregon? Our plan comparison tool can help you browse available options and locate one that works best for you. Before joining any Medicare plan, you should carefully explore all of the options in your area.

About Medicare in Oregon

Medicare beneficiaries in Oregon may receive coverage through Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, and add prescription drug coverage and/or a Medicare Supplement insurance policy for more comprehensive coverage. Alternatively, they can join a Medicare Advantage plan. These plans are required to cover at least the same coverage as Part A and Part B (with the exception of hospice care), but may include other benefits, such as routine vision, dental, hearing, and prescription drug coverage.

Types of Medicare coverage available in Oregon

Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, covers inpatient hospital services (Part A) and doctor/physician care (Part B).

Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) are a type of Medicare insurance sold by private insurance companies. If you choose to receive your coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan, you must continue paying your Medicare Part B premium. You may also opt to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan, which will also include prescription drug coverage.

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans are offered by private insurance companies and provide stand-alone prescription drug coverage that works alongside Original Medicare, Part A and Part B. As mentioned, you can also choose to get Medicare Part D coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription benefits.

Medicare Supplement insurance, also called Medigap, covers certain health care costs that Original Medicare does not, such as deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and other out-of-pocket costs such as foreign travel emergency health care. There are 10 plan types available in most states, and each plan is labeled with a letter (for example, Plan J). Benefits are standardized across each plan letter. So regardless of which insurance company you buy from, your coverage within each plan category will be the same (although premiums may vary by company).

Local resources for Medicare in Oregon

  • Medicare Savings Programs in Oregon: Beneficiaries with limited income may apply for Medicare Savings Programs in Oregon if they require financial assistance paying for out-of-pocket Medicare costs, such as premiums, deductibles, and other medical expenses.
  • Oregon State Health Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program (SHIP): The Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) program in Oregon has a toll-free number you can call or you can get one-on-one counseling from a trained SHIBA volunteer in your area. Call 1-800-722-4134 to speak with a SHIBA representative.

How to apply for Medicare in Oregon

You apply for Medicare in Oregon as you would in any state. To qualify for Medicare, you must be either a United States citizen or a legal permanent resident of at least five continuous years. Manual enrollment is done via your local Social Security Administration office. It can also be done online at the Social Security website or 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.
  • Apply in person at a local Social Security office. Visit SSA.gov to find the closest location to you.
  • 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.

Failure to enroll in Medicare when you are first eligible may result in a financial penalty for late enrollment if you decide to join the program later on.

Some residents are enrolled automatically at age 65 if they already receive retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board. Disabled residents under the age of 65 may also be enrolled automatically, provided they receive Social Security disability benefits, or certain disability benefits through the Railroad Retirement Board, for 24 consecutive months. You may also qualify for automatic enrollment if you get Medicare because you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). In this case, you’d be automatically enrolled in the first month of disability benefits.

If none of the above situations apply to you, you may need to manually enroll in Medicare through the Social Security Administration or the Railroad Retirement Board. This also includes if you qualify for Medicare because you have end-stage renal disease.

Ready to look at your Medicare plan options in Oregon? Let me help you find out what’s available for your health needs and budget. Learn about my background helping Medicare beneficiaries by clicking the “View profile” link below my photo. If you use the links below, you can schedule a phone call with me or have me email you more information. Or, if you want to explore plan options immediately, scroll up and use the Compare Plans button.

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