Don't let all of the Medicare health insurance options in Santa Barbara County scare you. Click one of the plan types below to compare just the Medicare coverage you need. If you're not ready to make a decision click here to discover your options.
To speak with a Medicare adviser, call us toll-free at 877-549-1452 (TTY 411). Our telephone hours are 6AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.
Santa Barbara County Medicare Insurance Options
Medicare Part A (inpatient) and Medicare Part B (outpatient), commonly called Original Medicare, is the same for everyone with Medicare benefits, including Santa Barbara County. This is not true of the other parts of Medicare, which are highly dependent on where you live.
As if all of the various health insurance options aren’t confusing enough, you also need to make sure your doctor accepts the insurance you want, or find a doctor that does. Some doctors only work through insurance networks, while others treat patients with Original Medicare (and Medicaid). Some doctors do both.
MedicareWire.com seeks to take as much of the guess work out of selecting Medicare health insurance as possible. Our goal is to help you narrow down your plan options before you get on the telephone with a licensed adviser. We know from experience that an educated healthcare consumer is more often satisfied with the care they receive than those who don't do their homework.
Medicare Advantage Insurance in Santa Barbara County
Medicare Advantage is a private health insurance replacement for Original Medicare. If you enroll in a Santa Barbara County Medicare Advantage plan you are opting to receive all of your healthcare benefits through the plan. There are strict rules governing going back to Original Medicare, so read and be informed. In most cases you must wait until the next Annual Election Period.
For most Santa Barbara County seniors cost is a factor, so let's talk about it. You have plans as low as $0.00 per month and some as high as $185.00 per month. It's not always true that the higher the premium the more benefits and coverage you get. Be a good shopper and compare. Be sure to compare prescription drug benefits. There are 2 plans that give you prescription drug coverage and 1 that don't include it.
There are several different type of plans, including Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS), and Medical Savings Account (MSA). HMO and PPO plans are the most common. We identify the plan type and its benefits on each plan page.
In many areas you will find one or more $0 plans. This simply means that there's no additional monthly premium cost to you above and beyond your monthly Part B premium. In all cases you are required to continue to pay your monthly Part B premium in addition to the Medicare Advantage plan premium.
A low premium is not the only cost to consider when comparing health insurance. Don't forget to look at the MOOP. That's the maximum out-of-pocket expenses you will pay each year. It's an important feature, because it helps you avoid the heavy burden of high medical bills. Be aware that the MOOP does not include the cost of your premiums or your prescriptions.
About one-third of all seniors on Medicare enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. You can learn more about this private health insurance option on our Medicare Advantage Frequently Asked Questions page and our Medicare Advantage Coverage page.
Medicare Supplement Insurance in Santa Barbara County
If you like the flexibility of being able to see any doctor you choose, but you're concerned about paying 20% of all your medical bills, the solution is Medicare Supplement insurance. Commonly called Medigap, supplemental Medicare insurance helps pay your share of the Medicare costs.
Medigap insurance is available in California in ten standardized letter plans, A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N. There's also a high deductible version of Plan F. Plan A is the most basic and Plan F offers the most coverage possible.
It's critical that you understand how Medigap works. It does not give you extra healthcare benefits. If Medicare does not cover a healthcare expense, Medigap does not cover it. That includes your prescriptions, hearing aids, eye glasses, dental exams and other items that Medicare does not cover. Medigap works with everything covered under Medicare Part A and Part B.
Medicare Prescription Drug Plans in Santa Barbara County
One of the most important healthcare benefits needed by most California seniors is prescription medication coverage, and it's not included in Original Medicare. If you want assistance paying for your prescriptions you must enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes it, or join a Medicare Part D plan (PDP).
You have a total of 5 California PDP options this year. Every year plans change, so be sure to review your choices each Annual Election Period. The low cost plan this year is just $24.50 per month. At the high end, premiums top out at $112.80 per month. If you have regular prescriptions, be sure to compare your needs with a plan's formulary before enrolling.
Don't make the mistake of enrolling in a Medicare Part D plan because it's cheap. Your prescription drug insurance is important. Learn more about it by reading Medicare Part D Frequently Asked Questions and Medicare Part D Coverage.
How-To Find a Medicare Doctor in Santa Barbara County, California
We've recently added all Santa Barbara County Medicare doctors (primary care physicians for now) to MedicareWire.com. Doctors who treat Medicare patients are listed by city or town. We have school information, years of experience, hospital affiliations and insurances for doctors in Buellton, Carpinteria, Goleta, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Santa Ynez, Solvang, and surrounding areas.
This page was last updated on: 11/12/2014.