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Medicare Agents in Arizona: Your Guide to Navigating Healthcare Choices

As an independent insurance agent, I understand the complexities of Medicare and the importance of having a reliable, knowledgeable agent to guide you through the process. This article aims to shed light on the roles and responsibilities of Medicare agents in Arizona and provide guidance on finding a trustworthy agent in your area.

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Roles and Responsibilities of Medicare Agents in Arizona

Medicare Advantage AdvisorsMedicare agents in Arizona play a crucial role in helping individuals navigate the often complex world of healthcare. They are committed to providing appropriate guidance to customers, maintaining high ethical standards, and helping people make informed healthcare choices.

A Medicare agent’s responsibilities extend beyond simply selling insurance policies. They must uphold a certain set of responsibilities to remain in good standing. These include acting in the best interest of the insurance purchaser, maintaining a license to sell, negotiate, or solicit insurance in Arizona, and adhering to state and federal regulations.

In Arizona, Medicare insurance agents must indeed be licensed and appointed by the Medicare insurance companies they represent. Becoming a licensed Medicare agent in Arizona involves several steps, including passing an Arizona insurance examination, completing a state-approved pre-licensing course, and submitting fingerprints to the Arizona Department of Insurance for a criminal background check.

The examination covers the basics of Medicare and Arizona insurance laws, and a passing score of at least 70% is required. Once licensed, agents must complete 48 hours of Arizona-approved insurance continuing education during the license term, which includes at least six hours of ethics training. This ensures that agents stay up-to-date with the latest changes in Medicare and Arizona insurance laws, enabling them to provide the best advice to their clients.

Once licensed and appointed, agents can represent the insurance companies, helping individuals navigate the often complex world of healthcare and Medicare. They are committed to providing appropriate guidance to customers, maintaining high ethical standards, and helping people make informed healthcare choices.

Finding a Medicare Agent in Arizona

When finding a Medicare agent in Arizona, several resources are available. Websites like provide directories of local agents and brokers who can assist with the application and enrollment process. Similarly, the Arizona Department of Insurance offers a tool to find a Marketplace agent/broker licensed as an accident and health insurance producer.

Choosing the right Medicare agent is a crucial step in ensuring you receive the best possible guidance and support. This is where the Blake Insurance Group comes into play. As a local Medicare agent in Arizona, we pride ourselves on providing personalized, professional service to our clients.

At Blake Insurance Group, we understand that every individual’s healthcare needs are unique. That’s why we take the time to understand your specific needs and guide you toward the most suitable Medicare plan. Our team stays abreast of the latest changes in Medicare and Arizona insurance laws, ensuring that we provide up-to-date, accurate advice.

Types of Medicare Plans in Arizona

Original Medicare

Original Medicare is a federal program that includes Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) and Medicare Part B (outpatient/medical coverage). It does not vary from state to state, and eligibility and enrollment work the same way across the country. Original Medicare covers a wide range of healthcare services, but it does not cover most prescription drugs. To add drug coverage, you can join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).

Medicare Advantage

Medicare-approved private insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans and provide coverage equivalent to Original Medicare (Parts A and B). Most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage and additional benefits such as dental, vision, and care management programs for chronic conditions. In Arizona, 38% of Medicare beneficiaries had Medicare Advantage coverage as of 2018.

 There are 157 Medicare Advantage plans available in the state. In Arizona, the average monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage Plan in 2023 is $12.00. This is a slight decrease from the 2022 average of $12.43. However, it’s important to note that about 71% of all the available plans in Arizona offer a $0 premium. For those that do charge a premium, the average cost is $47.20. Some of the top Medicare Advantage plan carriers in Arizona include Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, and UnitedHealthcare.

Types of Medicare Advantage Plans in Arizona

In Arizona, there are four types of Medicare Advantage plans available to cater to the diverse healthcare needs of its residents. These plans include Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS), and Special Needs Plan (SNP). Each plan offers a different level of flexibility regarding network providers and varies in price.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

HMO plans require you to get your care and services from providers within the plan’s network, except for emergency care, out-of-area urgent care, and temporary out-of-area dialysis. Some HMOs offer a Point-of-Service (HMOPOS) option, which allows you to get some services out-of-network for a higher copayment or coinsurance. HMO plans usually require you to choose a primary care doctor, and may need referrals to see specialists.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)

PPO plans offer more flexibility in choosing healthcare providers. You can generally go to any doctor, healthcare provider, or hospital that accepts Medicare for covered services, but you’ll usually pay less if you use providers within the plan’s network. PPO plans do not require you to choose a primary care doctor or get referrals to see specialists.

Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS)

PFFS plans determine how much they will pay doctors, healthcare providers, and hospitals and how much you must pay when you get care. You can go to any Medicare-approved provider or facility that accepts the plan’s payment terms and agrees to treat you. PFFS plans do not require you to choose a primary care doctor or get referrals to see specialists.

Special Needs Plan (SNP)

SNPs are designed for people with specific diseases or characteristics, such as those with chronic health conditions, those who live in institutions, or those who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. SNPs tailor their benefits, provider choices, and drug formularies to meet best the specific needs of the groups they serve.

Medigap in Arizona

Medigap, also known as Medicare Supplement Insurance, is an additional insurance policy you can purchase from a private company to help cover costs not covered by Original Medicare. These costs can include deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. In Arizona, the most popular and comprehensive Medigap plan types are Plans F and G.

Medigap Plan F

Plan F offers the most comprehensive coverage of any Medigap plan. It covers “gaps” in Original Medicare coverage, such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. However, Plan F is no longer available to people who became eligible for Medicare after December 31, 2019. For those who were eligible for Medicare before this date and purchased Plan F, they can keep the plan.

Plan F covers more expenses than other supplement plans, and it’s one of just two plans that pay for the Part B deductible. It also covers the Part B excess charge, a benefit that’s just as rare. However, monthly premiums for Plan F are typically higher than other plans, so if Plan F has more coverage than you need, this might not be the plan for you.

Medigap Plan G

Plan G is the best Medigap policy for new enrollees. It’s also one of the more expensive plans, with an average price of $145 per month for 2023. Plan G covers nearly as much as Plan F, and it’s available for any Medicare member. The main difference between Medigap Plan F and Medigap Plan G is that any Medicare beneficiary can buy Plan G. In contrast, Plan F is limited to beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare before Jan. 1, 2020.

The average monthly premium for Plan G in Arizona is $178.19, with an additional yearly Part B Deductible of $233. Plan G covers the gaps left by Original Medicare with minimal out-of-pocket expense.

Monthly Premiums for Plan G

The monthly premiums for Plan G for a 65-year-old female who doesn’t use tobacco range from $97 to $147. However, the premium can vary based on location, age, gender, and other factors.

Ratings and Reviews of Medicare Plan Providers in Arizona

In Arizona, several Medicare plan providers offer a variety of plans to cater to the diverse healthcare needs of its residents. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rates these providers on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest, based on coverage, customer satisfaction, and overall quality.

Top-Rated Medicare Advantage Plan Providers

According to the CMS, there are no 5-star-rated plans available in Arizona for the 2023 plan year. However, several companies offer plans rated 4.5 stars out of 5. These include Humana and UnitedHealthcare.

Humana and UnitedHealthcare are also among the highest-rated Medicare Advantage plan providers in Arizona, according to the CMS. Other providers with high ratings include Alignment Health Plan, Amerigroup, Banner Health Plan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Cigna, Devoted Health, Imperial Insurance Companies, Lasso Healthcare, SCAN Desert Health Plan, and WellCare.

Reviews of Specific Plans

Humana Gold Plus, Cigna Preferred Medicare, and Cigna Alliance Medicare are top-rated plans, each scoring 75.05. AARP Medicare, offered by UnitedHealthcare, is also highly rated.

The Aetna Medicare Freedom plan is considered the best PPO plan with drug coverage, six core benefits, and a high star rating from the CMS. It includes worldwide emergency benefits, making it a good option for travelers.

For those looking for an HMO plan, the Cigna Alliance Medicare plan is the best option, even if drug coverage is unnecessary.

 Low-Cost Plans

Devoted Health is recognized for offering the best Medicare Advantage plans in Arizona due to its low rates and high-quality coverage. It offers four different plans in Arizona: Choice, Core, Giveback, and Select. The Choice, Core, and Giveback plans all cost $0 per month.

UnitedHealthcare is also well-rated and offers good-quality coverage. It has an average rating of 4.2 out of five stars in Arizona and is available in every county in the state.

Amerigroup is a good option for those looking for a plan with no monthly cost.

Medicare Resources in Arizona

Additional Resources

In addition to Blake Insurance Group, other resources are available to help you navigate Medicare in Arizona. These include:

– State Health Insurance Program (SHIP): Provides individualized assistance and counseling for Medicare beneficiaries.

Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP): Helps prevent, detect, and report Medicare fraud, errors, and abuse.

– Area Agency on Aging: Provides benefits counseling and assistance for Medicare beneficiaries.

No matter where you are in Arizona, Blake Insurance Group is here to help you find the right Medicare plan. With our expertise and personalized approach, we can guide you through the process and ensure you have the coverage you need. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us assist you in finding the Medicare plan that suits your needs and preferences.

The Personal Touch: Customized Medicare Solutions in Arizona

At Blake Insurance Group, we believe that Medicare coverage should be personalized to your specific needs. That’s why we offer a range of coverage options, including Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medigap, and Part D. We will work with you to determine which plan is right for you based on cost, coverage, and convenience.

From Enrollment to Support: Your Arizona Medicare Insurance Specialist

We are here to guide you through the entire process, from enrollment to support. Our team of licensed insurance agents specializes in Medicare products and can help you find a plan that is right for you. We offer expert guidance and support to help you navigate the complex world of Medicare and find a plan that fits your specific needs.

In Arizona, there are several resources available for Medicare assistance. These resources provide information, counseling, and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries, helping them make informed decisions about their healthcare coverage.

State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is a key resource for Medicare beneficiaries in Arizona. SHIP offers personalized health insurance counseling and is housed within the Division of Aging and Adult Services in the Arizona Department of Economic Security. SHIP provides free health-benefits counseling services for Medicare beneficiaries, the disabled, and their families or caregivers. The program educates, advocates, counsels, and empowers people to make informed benefit decisions to enroll in Medicare programs that best fit their needs.

SHIP and its volunteer staff are trained to assist individuals with the many confusing problems Medicare beneficiaries face. Some of the topics they cover include information regarding Original Medicare (A and B), Medicare Advantage plans (HMOs/PPOs etc.), Medicare Part D (PDPs), Medicare Supplement plans (Medigap), and options under Medicare, assistance with Medicare, Advantage and Supplemental plans claims, assistance with Medicare appeals and resolving billing problems, basic information on applying for Social Security, SSI, and Medicare and AHCCCS Benefits, information and enrollment assistance on Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage, and information and enrollment assistance on Medicare Advantage plans Coverage.

Arizona Department of Economic Security

The Arizona Department of Economic Security oversees the SHIP and Senior Medicare Patrol programs. The department’s mission is to help Arizona residents reach their potential, including providing Medicare assistance.

Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)

The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) is Arizona’s Medicaid agency that offers health care programs to serve Arizona residents. AHCCCS provides medical insurance coverage to thousands of Arizonans annually, for which DES provides eligibility services. Health insurance through AHCCCS helps individuals cover the cost of doctor’s office visits, physical exams, immunizations, prenatal care, hospital care, and prescriptions they need.

 Medicare Savings Program (MSP)

In Arizona, the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) helps Medicare beneficiaries who struggle to afford the cost of Medicare coverage. These programs pay for Medicare Part B premiums, Medicare Part A and B cost-sharing, and – in some cases – Part A premiums. There is no MSP asset limit in Arizona.

Medicare Plan Finder

The Medicare Plan Finder is an educational resource and a plan search tool to review various CMS-approved plans in your area. It helps over 1 million people compare their Medicare options.