Medicare in Rhode Island

Pamela Cannaday by Pamela Cannaday | Licensed since 2011
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This article was updated on: 09/16/2018

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When you’re choosing a Medicare plan in Rhode Island, you may want to consider all of the options. Let Medicare.com be your resource for coverage facts while offering the use of our plan comparison tool to examine Medicare pricing options and plan details.

About Medicare in Rhode Island

Medicare beneficiaries in Rhode Island may enroll in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, and then enhance that coverage with a prescription drug plan and/or Medicare Supplement insurance. Or, you may decide to receive your Medicare benefits through a Medicare Advantage plan.

Types of Medicare coverage in Rhode Island

Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, is the federal health-care program and is available to eligible beneficiaries in every state. Part A provides inpatient hospital care while Part B covers physician visits, medical services, and some durable medical equipment.

Medicare Advantage, Part C, is offered by private insurance companies with Medicare’s approval. These plans are required to offer at least the same amount of coverage as Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, but some may include additional benefits, such as vision, dental, and prescription drug coverage. You must continue paying your Medicare Part B premium when you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.

Medicare Part D stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans make prescription drug coverage available through private Medicare-approved insurance companies. This type of insurance works alongside Original Medicare. Alternatively, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan (described above) to get all your Medicare benefits through a single plan.

Medicare Supplement insurance, also called Medigap, covers Medicare deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and, in some cases, certain foreign travel emergency health care. Most states offer up to 10 standardized Medigap policy options, each labeled with a letter. Plans of the same letter always provide the same benefits, no matter which insurance company offers the policy, or in which state.

Local resources for Medicare in Rhode Island

  • Medicare Savings Programs in Rhode Island: There are various programs to help pay for premiums or other health expenses. You can apply for these programs and may qualify if your income is under a certain amount.
  • Rhode Island State Health Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program (SHIP): Funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Rhode Island SHIP has volunteers who give one-to-one counseling to beneficiaries and their families, educating them in issues such as Medicare benefits, rights, and protections.

How to apply for Medicare in Rhode Island

To qualify for Medicare, you must be either a United States citizen or a legal permanent resident of at least five continuous years.

Some people may already receive retirement benefits through the Social Security Administration or the Railroad Retirement Board. If you’re receiving these benefits, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, three months prior to reaching age 65. Certain individuals younger than 65 may be enrolled as well provided they receive Social Security disability benefits, or certain disability benefits through the Railroad Retirement Board, for more than 24 straight months. If you have Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS), you’re automatically enrolled in Medicare the same month that you start getting government disability benefits. If you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), however, you may qualify for Medicare, but you need to enroll manually.

Those who must enroll manually can visit their local Social Security office to register for Medicare. They may also visit the Social Security online to apply or do so over the phone:

  • Visit the Social Security website.
  • 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.

During the Annual Election Period (October 15-December 7), you can enroll in or change your Medicare coverage, and I can help you find a plan that meets your needs. Learn more about me by following the “View profile” link by my photo. Or, use the links below to schedule a phone call or have me email you Medicare information tailored to your needs. To browse through plans at your own pace, use the “Compare Plans” button on this page.

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