Arizona, home of the Grand Canyon, also has some grand healthcare plans that can work for you!

Arizona deserts can be expansive, and so can your options for Medicare coverage. With over a million people in Arizona enrolled in Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage, you’re sure to find a plan that works for you. If you’re looking to have some questions answered about your Medicare options in Arizona, read on and find some great information below!

Ready for a Medicare plan that works for you? Use the Insurify Medicare comparison tool to explore Arizona Medicare plans. Start with your ZIP code, and you’ll be comparing plans in less than two minutes. Try it today!

 

 

How Much Does Medicare Cost in Arizona?

The overall cost of Medicare can vary, depending on the plan(s) in which you choose to enroll. You can expect the costs of your Medicare health coverage to come from the following sources:

  • Monthly Premium: The plan premium is the monthly cost you must pay to keep your plan’s coverage.
  • Deductible: This is the amount of money you must pay out of pocket for medical services before your coverage kicks in. Once you meet your deductible, your insurance plan will begin to either directly cover medical costs or compensate you for covered medical services.
  • Coinsurance: Once you meet your deductible, your insurance plan will pay for a percentage of the medical costs, typically leaving you to pay a much smaller percentage out of pocket.
  • Co-pays: Also activated once you meet your deductible, these are flat rate payments for specific medical services or prescriptions.
  • Out-of-pocket limits: These are the absolute maximum limits you can pay in medical costs per year. Once you’ve reached the limit, your insurance plan is required to pay 100 percent of subsequent medical costs.

Finding the right insurance plan or combination of plans is extremely important, so be sure to weigh the pros and cons of the various plans you can choose from. It may seem attractive to go for a plan with a low monthly premium, but that plan may have a higher deductible or reduced coverage. What’s important is to sign up for a plan that provides you with the coverage you need and that you can reliably afford.

The Cost of Original Medicare in Arizona

The costs of Original Medicare (which includes Parts A and B) follow a standard that is identical across the United States.

  • Part A premiums come in at $0 per month (though this is provided that you and your spouse have paid taxes for the past 10 years). Part A plans have a deductible of $1,484 (per hospitalization), covering the first 60 days in the hospital. Part A can also cover an additional 90 days in the hospital per stay; however, there will be a co-pay for the additional days. Part A does not have an out-of-pocket maximum.
  • Part B premiums cost $148.50 per month. However, if you make over $88,000 as an individual or $176,000 as a married couple, you can expect to pay higher monthly premiums. The yearly deductible is $203, and once you have met that deductible, the Part B plan will pay for 80 percent of covered costs, leaving you to pay 20 percent.

The Cost of Medigap Plans in Arizona

While the cost of Original Medicare can be fairly straightforward, Medigap (or Medicare Supplement Insurance) can help to pay for co-payments, deductibles, and coinsurance.

Ultimately, the cost of Medigap plans can vary depending on the base costs for the plan, your age, your gender, where you live, or your use of tobacco. Overall, the monthly premium for a Plan G Medigap policy could range from $104 to $287, so be sure to check the details on each plan when deciding what is right for you.

The Cost of Medicare Advantage Plans in Arizona


If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you will still have to pay for the Part B monthly premium of $148.50. Also, depending on the Medicare Advantage plan you choose, you will have to also pay a monthly premium, though some of these premiums can be as low as $0.

Medicare Advantage plans come from approved private insurance companies and are a solid alternative to the less expansive Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans provide Part A, Part B, and Part D coverage, along with other Medicare benefits like dental, vision, and hearing coverage.

Similarly, such Medicare Advantage plans can have varying deductible amounts. With that in mind, be sure to find a plan that best covers your medical needs without breaking the bank against costs like deductibles.

To learn more about choosing the right Medicare Advantage plan, please read our article The Best Medicare Advantage Plans in Arizona.

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The Cost of Part D Plans in Arizona


Generally speaking, Part D plans in Arizona have monthly premiums that can be as low as $14 or as high as $100. Again, things like a plan’s premium and deductible can vary, so make sure you’re making the right choices for your health and wallet.

Medicare prescription drug plans, also known as Medicare Part D, cover the cost of medications prescribed to you by a doctor. In the same vein as Medicare Advantage plans, the overall cost of Part D coverage ultimately depends on the plan you select.

Cost of Special Needs Plans (SNP) in Arizona


Chronic-Condition Special Needs Plans, which cover Medicare beneficiaries with certain severe or disabling chronic conditions, such as cancer, chronic health failure, or HIV/AIDS. 

Medicare Special Needs Plans are a part of Medicare Advantage plans, with the main purpose of assisting individuals who would otherwise have a hard time paying for general Medicare costs. Special Needs Plans tend to limit beneficiaries to a number of requirements, allowing coverage for the following:

  • Institutional Special Needs Plans, which cover individuals living in an institution, such as a nursing home.
  • Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plans, which covers people who are “dual-eligible” for both Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

What Is Medicare?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program designed to provide healthcare to people older than 65, people with disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease. Through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the federal government oversees and regulates Medicare, while state governments oversee and regulate Medicaid services.

Given the needs of individuals who qualify for Medicare, these assistance programs seek to alleviate the financial pressure of maintaining a solid health insurance plan and enable beneficiaries to reliably obtain needed healthcare services.

There are different types, or parts, of Medicare, with each one focusing on a different aspect of coverage:

  • Medicare Parts A and B: Also known as “Hospital Insurance,” Part A provides coverage for inpatient care, including hospital stays, skilled nursing facilities, and hospice care. Some aspects of Part A even cover some home healthcare costs. Medicare Part B is known as “Medical Insurance” and covers more routine healthcare services, such as doctor visits, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive health services. Together, Parts A and B are commonly known as “Original Medicare.”
  • Medicare Part C: Also known as “Medicare Advantage,” Part C offers an alternative to Original Medicare and provides all-in-one health plans. Part C plans are provided by approved private insurance companies. They cover everything that Original Medicare plans cover but often come with additional benefits, such as dental, vision, and hearing coverage. What’s more, Part C plans can provide prescription drug coverage as well.
  • Medicare Part D: Part D provides prescription drug coverage. Part D plans should be available to you, whether you’re obtaining them through Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans.
  • Medicare Supplement Insurance: Also known as Medigap, Medicare Supplement Insurance provides assistance with various Original Medicare costs, such as co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles

Who Qualifies for Medicare in Arizona?

To qualify for Medicare in Arizona, as well as in the rest of the United States, you must be 65 or older and also need to have been a citizen or permanent resident for at least five continuous years.

If you are under the age of 65, you could also qualify for Medicare, provided that you have been receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration or the Railroad Retirement Board for at least 25 continuous months. You can also gain eligibility for Medicare coverage if you suffer from a serious chronic health condition, such as end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

How Do I Choose Between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage?

The best thing you can do for yourself in deciding between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage is to evaluate both your medical needs and your financial limitations. Overall, the best Medicare plan for you is one that covers your specific medical needs without creating an overwhelming financial burden.

Below, you’ll find a table that gives some fairly straightforward pros and cons inherent in each coverage format:

Plan Type Advantages Disadvantages
Original Medicare
  • Extensive network of providers
  • Large service area across the U.S.
  • Low monthly premiums
  • Many Medigap plan options to help cover costs
  • No caps on out-of-pocket coverage
  • Must purchase add-ons like Medigap, prescription drug coverage, and stand-alone dental, vision, and hearing 
Medicare Advantage
  • Can purchase a comprehensive plan to cover medical, medication, vision, dental, and hearing
  • Many plan options, including types of plans like HMO, PPO, or PFFS (private fee-for-service)
  • A smaller network of providers
  • Small service area restricted to your state or a region within your state
  • Premiums can be more expensive

How Do I Apply for Original Medicare in Arizona?

There a handful of ways to apply for Original Medicare in Arizona:

    1. You can apply online at medicare.gov.
    2. You can apply over the phone by calling Medicare at 1 (800) 633-4227, or 1 (877) 486-2048 for TTY users.
  1. You can apply over the phone by calling the Arizona State Health Insurance Assistance Program at 1 (800) 432-4040.
  2. You can mail in a paper application.

Many Americans find that they can automatically enroll in Original Medicare, provided that they are already collecting Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits when they turn 65.

If you do not fit the criteria for automatic Medicare enrollment, it’s extremely important to take note of your Initial Enrollment Period, which begins three months prior to your 65th birth month and ends three months after your 65th birth month. Should you happen to miss out on this seven-month window, you could risk significantly hamstringing yourself by having to pay penalties for late enrollment.

How Do I Apply for Medicare Advantage in Arizona?

If you find that a Medicare Advantage plan is more suitable to your situation, you’ll first need to enroll in Original Medicare Part A and Part B plans during your Initial Enrollment Period. Once you’re fully signed up for Original Medicare, you can take advantage of the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, which occurs every year from October 15 to December 7. During this time, you can switch your coverage to a Medicare Advantage plan of your choosing.

What’s the Best Medicare Advantage Plan in Arizona?

The answer to this question is truly subjective, as each Medicare Advantage plan has a varied amount of drawbacks and benefits. Also, each individual has their own specific medical needs, as well as their own financial limitations. 

With that in mind, make sure to take stock of your health and do your best to account for current medical needs, as well as medical needs you may require in the future. Also, take your income into account, and make sure that you have a set budgetary limit for what you can spend on healthcare. Combine the coverage that you need with the budgetary constraints you must navigate when selecting a plan, and you’ll no doubt find something that works for you.

 

 

FAQ: Arizona Medicare

Can you be on AHCCCS and Medicare?

AHCCCS, or the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, is essentially Arizona’s Medicaid agency that offers affordable healthcare for Arizonans that meet specific income-driven requirements.

The short answer is that you can in fact get coverage from both AHCCCS and Medicare at the same time. Especially if you are on Original Medicare, AHCCCS can assist in both providing a broader range of medical coverage and lowering costs for things like Part B and D premiums, co-payments, and deductibles.

What is the best Medicare Supplement plan in Arizona?

Much like the answer to the question asking about the best Medicare Advantage plan in Arizona, it’s important to see what each Medicare Supplement plan can offer you. Given each individual’s specific needs and limitations, you’ll need to evaluate what you need from a Medicare Supplement plan and select the plan that both covers what you need and doesn’t put undue strain on your wallet.

Where can I find more information on Medicare in Arizona?

You can contact the State Health Insurance Program (SHIP), the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP), or the Arizona Department of Insurance for more information. The SHIP program, which is present in many states across the country, provides specific insurance counseling and assistance to Medicare-eligible individuals. Contact your local SHIP for one-on-one assistance with reviewing health or prescription drug plan options.

  • Residents of Maricopa County (Region One), call 1 (602) 280-1059, or visit AAAphx.org.
  • Residents of Pima County (Region Two), call 1 (520) 790-7262, or visit PCOA.org.
  • Residents of Pinal County (Region Five), call 1 (520) 836-2758, or visit PGcsc.org.

Conclusion: Compare Arizona Medicare Plans Before You Buy

Given the many different options at your disposal, the best thing for you to do is evaluate your medical needs and compare different plans to meet those needs with as low a cost as possible. If you need help making the work of comparing plans easy, check out the Insurify plan-comparison tool below. It’s free and easy to use!

Isn’t It Time You Got More Out of Arizona Medicare?

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Updated April 9, 2021

Originally from Los Angeles, California, Adrian Coto is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. A graduate of the NYU Creative Writing MFA program, he's worked as a legal assistant, a law school administrator, and now as a copywriter and editor.