Medicare in Tennessee

Steven Mott by Steven Mott | Licensed since 2012
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This article was updated on: 09/16/2018

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When looking to join a Medicare plan in Tennessee, you may want to explore every possible option. Let Medicare.com be your resource for plan comparisons. With us, you can browse Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, and Medicare Supplement insurance plans in your area.

About Medicare in Tennessee

Medicare is the federal health insurance program that provides health-care coverage for Tennessee residents age 65 and older, as it does for beneficiaries in other states. Younger persons with certain qualifying disabilities and illnesses are eligible as well, as this article describes. Another option is to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, which provides at least the same benefits as Medicare Part A and Part B.

Types of Medicare coverage in Tennessee

Original Medicare gives beneficiaries coverage for inpatient hospital care under its hospital insurance program (Part A) and for doctor services, preventive services, and some durable medical equipment under its medical insurance program (Part B).

Medicare Advantage, also called Part C, provides Original Medicare benefits through private Medicare-approved insurance companies. Costs and plan details will vary differ among insurance providers, and not every plan will be available in each county. All Medicare Advantage plans are required to offer at least the same amount of coverage as Original Medicare, Part A and Part B (with the exception of hospice care). Some Part C plans may include additional benefits, like prescription drug coverage and routine dental care. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Part C plan, you still continue paying your monthly Part B premium.

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans are available through private Medicare-approved insurance providers. These Part D plans offer stand-alone prescription coverage and can be added to your Medicare Part A and/or Part B insurance. On the other hand, if you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan, you can get all your Medicare coverage in a single plan, while continuing to pay your monthly Part B premium.

Medicare Supplement insurance, also called Medigap, offers coverage for Original Medicare out-of-pocket costs, such as copayments, coinsurances, and, in some policies, emergency medical care during foreign travel.

Local resources for Medicare in Tennessee

  • Medicare Savings Programs in Tennessee: Low-income beneficiaries can potentially qualify for savings programs in the state of Tennessee. These programs offer discounts on some of the out-of-pocket health expenses that Medicare doesn’t cover.
  • Tennessee State Health Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program (SHIP): The Tennessee State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is a statewide program that provides free and objective assistance to beneficiaries with questions about Medicare.

How to apply for Medicare in Tennessee

Applying for Medicare in Tennessee works the same as it does in any other state. To be eligible, you must be a United States citizen or legal permanent resident of at least five continuous years. You’re generally eligible when you are 65 or older, but you may qualify under 65 through disability or having certain conditions. You may not have to take any action to enroll if you or your spouse is eligible for or already receive Social Security benefits or Railroad Retirement Board benefits.

You may be eligible if you are under 65:

  • If you collect disability benefits from the Social Security Administration, or certain disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board, and you enter into the 25th month of collecting those benefits. In this situation, you will be automatically enrolled as well.
  • If you have ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease), you’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare the first month that you collect disability benefits.
  • If you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), Medicare enrollment is not automatic – you need to enroll manually.

If you have to apply for Medicare manually, then you can contact the Social Security Administration, either in person, online, or 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.

If you would like to shop for Medicare plan options in Tennessee, I’d be happy to go over your options. Find out more about me by clicking the View profile link by my photo. If you’d like to start out by getting some more information in front of you, use the links below, which let you schedule a phone appointment or have me email you information about plans. To take a look at available Medicare plans right now, use the “Compare Plans” button on the right side of this page.

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