Medicare Advantage in Arkansas

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Arkansas state

Information about Medicare Advantage Plans in Arkansas

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There are 49 different Arkansas Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plans in 2021.1 Not every plan is available in each county, so it's important to find out which ones are offered where you live.

A licensed insurance agent can help you compare the availability, benefits and costs of Medicare Advantage plans in your area of Arkansas. Read below to learn more about Medicare in your state.

Average costs of Medicare Advantage in Arkansas

The average monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage in Arkansas in 2021 is $22 per month.

  • Average monthly premium cost in 2021 (weighted): $22
  • Average in-network out-of-pocket spending limit: $5,063
  • Average drug deductible in 2021 (weighted): $2071

Individual plan premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs may vary greatly depending on where you live and the plan you have.

You can view the 2021 average Arkansas Medicare Advantage plan monthly premiums by county listed below in this guide.

A licensed insurance agent can help you compare Medicare Advantage plan costs in your area.

Compare Arkansas Medicare Advantage plan costs

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Or call TTY Users: 711 to speak with a licensed insurance agent. We accept calls 24/7!

Medicare Eligibility & Enrollment

If you want to enroll in Medicare Advantage in Arkansas, you must first be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, often referred to as Original Medicare.

To be eligible for Original Medicare at age 65, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident who has lived in the U.S. for five continuous years.

  • You or your spouse must have worked long enough to be eligible for Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits.

  • You or your spouse must be government employees or retirees who have not paid into Social Security but have paid Medicare payroll taxes.

You may also be eligible for Medicare benefits under 65 if:

  • You have been receiving Social Security disability benefits or certain Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for at least 24 months.

  • You have ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease).

  • You have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), and you or your spouse have paid Social Security taxes for a certain length of time.

If you have ESRD, you may be able to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or an Arkansas Medicare Special Needs Plan (SNP) that is specifically designed to help meet your health care needs.

How to sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan in Arkansas

The first time you may be able to enroll in a Arkansas Medicare Part C plan is during your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).

Medicare Initial Enrollment Period graphic

Your Medicare IEP starts three months before your 65th birthday. It includes the month of your 65th birthday and then continues for another three months after your birthday.

Additional times at which you may sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan include:

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period graphic

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period: January 1 – March 31

If you're already enrolled in a Part C plan, from January 1 to March 31 every year, you may switch Medicare Advantage plans or drop your Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare.

If you return to Original Medicare during this period, you'll be able to join a Medicare standalone prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D).

Medicare AEP graphic

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): October 15 – December 7

From October 15 to December 7 every year, you may enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.

You may also drop your existing Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare.

During AEP, you may also join, switch or drop a Medicare Part D plan. 

Medicare Special Enrollment Periods (SEP)

You may potentially be granted a Medicare Special Enrollment Period (SEP) at any time throughout the year for qualifying circumstances.

A licensed insurance agent can help you find out if you qualify for a Medicare Special Enrollment Period.

Find a Arkansas Medicare Advantage plan

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Or call TTY Users: 711 to speak with a licensed insurance agent. We accept calls 24/7!

Top-rated Medicare Advantage Plans in Arkansas 2021

Each year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issues Star Ratings for all Medicare Advantage plans using a system of one to five stars.2

In order for a Medicare Advantage plan to be considered a top-rated plan, it must have four or more stars out of five stars.

There were 288 top-rated 2020 Medicare Advantage plans in Arkansas that were rated four stars or higher.

Medicare Star Ratings
Star Ratings

★★★★★

Excellent

★★★★

Above Average

★★★

Average

★★

Below Average

Poor

Medicare Advantage plans are rated in the following five categories:

  • Preventive care and health maintenance (screenings, tests, vaccines, etc.)
  • Management of chronic conditions
  • Member experiences and ratings of the plan
  • Member complaints, problems receiving services and member retention
  • Customer service

The information for the star ratings is gathered from information that is submitted to Medicare, Medicare’s regular monitoring activities and member surveys.

List of Medicare Advantage Plans Available in Arkansas in 2021

To view a list of plans offered in your area within Arkansas, use our plan comparison tool.

Find a Arkansas Medicare Advantage plan

Compare Plans

Or call TTY Users: 711 to speak with a licensed insurance agent. We accept calls 24/7!

Private insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans in Arkansas

Multiple insurance carriers may offer Medicare Advantage plans in Arkansas, depending on where you live.

Private insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans that may be unique to the plan area they serve.

Call to speak with a licensed insurance agent who can help you compare the Medicare Advantage plans that are sold by insurance companies in your area.

When you’re shopping for Medicare Advantage plans in Arkansas, you can compare plans from several different carriers by using some of the following information:

  • The Medicare Star Ratings can give you an idea of a plan’s overall quality.

  • Agencies like A.M. Best, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s can provide information about an insurance company’s credit rating and financial standing.

  • Websites such as the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports can teach you about a company’s reputation among its customers.

  • You can read through Medicare Advantage plan reviews and testimonials from customers.

Arkansas Medicare Advantage plans by county

The chart below provides some more information about 2021 Arkansas Medicare Advantage plans by county.1

  • Sharp County and Mississippi County are home to MAPD plans with the lowest average monthly premiums in 2021.

  • Carroll County and Pulaski County each have the most available MAPD plans in 2021.
2021 AR Medicare Advantage by County
County  Total Enrollees in County   Average  Premium  % of Plans  Rated 4 Stars or Higher  Avg. Annual Drug Deductible  #  Plans Available
Arkansas 835 $30.00 32% $174.62 19
Ashley 928 $19.07 N/A $283.33 14
Baxter 5088 $24.55 27% $213.10 30
Benton 17437 $21.95 29% $189.00 33
Boone 3140 $20.21 32% $204.25 27
Bradley 497 $22.08 33% $207.50 15
Calhoun 301 $21.29 29% $249.23 18
Carroll 2887 $19.87 25% $184.64 37
Chicot 706 $21.29 29% $249.23 18
Clark 1346 $18.83 28% $224.52 27
Clay 865 $14.84 N/A $264.55 16
Cleburne 1907 $25.08 21% $200.96 35
Cleveland 410 $22.08 33% $207.50 15
Columbia 1053 $25.37 N/A $350.83 9
Conway 1387 $21.41 23% $186.61 36
Craighead 5086 $23.42 28% $206.80 33
Crawford 6011 $22.68 30% $196.88 32
Crittenden 2714 $22.26 13% $220.88 24
Cross 1135 $20.32 N/A $225.31 23
Dallas 597 $29.76 22% $210.00 19
Desha 740 $22.08 33% $207.50 15
Drew 858 $17.40 N/A $230.83 10
Faulkner 4510 $23.07 30% $199.00 32
Franklin 1571 $22.68 27% $196.88 32
Fulton 1105 $25.58 24% $242.63 27
Garland 9420 $22.71 26% $189.23 34
Grant 919 $20.83 38% $185.75 26
Greene 2786 $25.87 30% $225.91 29
Hempstead 1404 $27.63 29% $316.00 8
Hot Spring 2392 $22.83 28% $193.33 35
Howard 697 $31.00 29% $313.33 6
Independence 1699 $21.70 N/A $240.94 23
Izard 1074 $22.02 29% $232.37 26
Jackson 946 $19.88 N/A $216.07 21
Jefferson 4961 $27.81 29% $198.75 28
Johnson 2015 $22.68 27% $196.88 32
Lafayette 365 $25.37 N/A $350.83 9
Lawrence 1329 $23.17 17% $223.53 23
Lee 726 $26.63 26% $197.86 21
Lincoln 579 $22.08 33% $207.50 15
Little River 818 $27.63 29% $316.00 8
Logan 1924 $25.37 30% $204.00 27
Lonoke 3689 $19.80 29% $200.96 33
Madison 1727 $18.33 33% $196.96 30
Marion 1992 $23.71 22% $203.41 31
Miller 2317 $27.63 29% $316.00 8
Mississippi 2870 $13.85 8% $242.50 17
Monroe 562 $15.93 N/A $209.44 14
Montgomery 676 $26.48 25% $157.50 23
Nevada 581 $23.49 38% $246.82 16
Newton 707 $18.52 22% $199.32 30
Ouachita 2094 $24.44 12% $210.36 20
Perry 688 $17.55 26% $191.35 34
Phillips 1491 $19.94 29% $198.08 19
Pike 683 $20.55 38% $208.85 18
Poinsett 2056 $20.94 29% $218.48 31
Polk 1248 $29.00 44% $225.63 12
Pope 3911 $22.01 29% $201.20 32
Prairie 516 $19.09 30% $208.68 27
Pulaski 22206 $22.24 24% $186.90 37
Randolph 1455 $24.10 29% $207.37 26
Saline 6946 $22.87 25% $193.57 36
Scott 913 $25.20 26% $206.19 29
Searcy 801 $18.52 24% $212.05 30
Sebastian 10075 $22.68 30% $196.88 32
Sevier 630 $27.63 29% $316.00 8
Sharp 1615 $13.23 29% $258.89 14
St. Francis 1676 $20.98 22% $251.05 27
Stone 945 $16.89 25% $192.35 25
Union 2248 $23.24 32% $277.14 20
Van Buren 1503 $23.36 22% $199.00 34
Washington 11002 $21.95 29% $189.00 33
White 4241 $18.60 N/A $216.11 25
Woodruff 502 $17.94 N/A $255.00 23
Yell 1355 $19.30 23% $219.25 27

AR Medicare Advantage plans by plan type

The major types of Medicare Advantage plans include:

  • HMO
    Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) usually requires patients to use health care providers and pharmacies that are part of the plan’s network (except in the case of emergencies) while also typically requiring a referral from a primary care doctor in order to see a specialist.

  • PPO
    Medicare Advantage beneficiaries in a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) are able to see providers outside of their plan’s network, often at a higher cost.

    Beneficiaries in this type of plan typically pay less out of pocket if they choose to receive medical services from providers within their plan’s network.

    PPO plans typically do not require patients to acquire a referral before visiting with a specialist.

  • PFFS
    A Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS) plan determines how much it will pay to health care providers and how much the patient will pay when care is received.

    With a PFFS plan, you can typically receive care from any doctor, hospital or health care provider that accepts your plan’s terms. Not all providers will accept these terms, however.

  • SNP
    A Special Needs Plan (SNP) is a type of Medicare Advantage plan limited to people with certain chronic conditions and other specific characteristics.

    Typically, you must receive care from health care providers and hospitals within your SNP network, except for in cases when you need emergency or urgent care and when someone who has End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) needs out-of-area kidney dialysis.

Not all of these types of plans may be available in your area. A licensed insurance agent can help you compare the types of 2021 Arkansas Medicare Advantage plans that are available where you live.

Local health insurance resources in Arkansas

  • The Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) of Arkansas offers free counseling, education and information to Medicare beneficiaries across the state.

    You may contact the organization at 800-224-6330 or 501-371-2782 with any questions about your Medicare coverage, supplemental insurance, long-term care insurance, Medicare Advantage plans, Medicaid, referral services, prescription drug coverage or retiree health plan coverage.  

  • You can also explore more information about the insurance industry in Arkansas by visiting the state’s Department of Insurance website.

  • Arkansas Prescription Drug Assistance Programs
    The state of Arkansas has a number of programs designed to help with the cost of prescription drugs. There are programs for both Medicare beneficiaries and non-Medicare beneficiaries alike that can cover the cost of premiums and cost-sharing or even lower the cost of the drugs themselves.

 

1 MedicareAdvantage.com's The Best States for Medicare in 2021 report. (Oct. 27, 2020).

2 Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5- star rating system.