Assisted living facilities primarily help residents with non-medical needs. Although minor and infrequent medical services, such as first-aid for a wound, can sometimes be met on-site by nurses. These communities may sometimes also be called ALFs, residential care facilities, retirement homes, or long-term care facilities.
The financial options available to help pay for senior care is dependent on, among other things, the type of care that is required. If you are just beginning the research process on how to pay for long-term care, it is helpful to have an idea about the type of care you or your loved one currently requires, as well as to anticipate future needs. In addition, it is important to be familiar with the associated eldercare terminology.
Can using home care technology help your family save money caring for an aging loved one? The answer is most certainly “Yes”. Our goal is not to provide a comprehensive list, but rather to make sense of those that are available on the market today and can reduce the care hours required by elderly persons. As such, they can reduce a family’s out-of-pocket care costs or reduce the hours they spend providing care themselves.
Medicare Advantage (Part C), a privately offered alternative to Original Medicare (Parts A and B), has grown in popularity over the years. Despite the growing popularity of Medicare Advantage, some seniors face obstacles that prevent them from truly understanding how it works and who it benefits. Common mistakes about Medicare Advantage include misunderstanding its differences from Original Medicare, getting it confused with other forms of private Medicare insurance (like Medigap or Part D), or not understanding how to look up or evaluate plans.
Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part C, is a private health insurance option that combines all the covered services of Medicare Parts A and B, otherwise known as Original Medicare, into one health plan. The federal government administrates original Medicare, and Medicare-approved health insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans.
By law, Medicare Advantage plans must cover all of the services included in Original Medicare, except for hospice care. Aside from this requirement, Medicare Advantage plan providers can set their own rules for plan eligibility, out-of-pocket costs, physician networks and more. Most Medicare Advantage plans provide additional coverage for services such as dental and vision care, as well as prescription drugs and wellness services. Original Medicare does not include prescription drug coverage unless a beneficiary adds Medicare Part D to their plan.
Out of all Medicare beneficiaries in the United States, 42% enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2021. Experts project this number to increase to 51% by 2030 as Medicare Advantage plans continue to grow in popularity and expand their availability. New Hampshire is one of 26 states where Medicare Advantage enrollment is less than the national average. Of New Hampshire’s over 300,000 Medicare beneficiaries, only 24.9% enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2021.
Eligible seniors and disabled people in New Hampshire can choose from 44 Medicare Advantage plans. This guide will cover the top plans in the state, as well as how New Hampshire residents can find the right plan for their needs.
The Top 10 Medicare Advantage Plans in New Hampshire
The table below shows the Top 10 Medicare Advantage plan providers that offer coverage in New Hampshire. The table ranks plans by total enrollment numbers for a clearer sense of how many people enrolled. There’s also information about costs to help compare and contrast plans. Since providers usually offer more than one plan, the table shows costs as a range rather than one set average.
Plan information is accurate as of April 2022, and New Hampshire residents can go to Medicare.gov for the most up-to-date information on the plans available in their area.
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England, Inc.
Martin’s Point Generations Advantage
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Vermont Blue Advantage
BMC HealthNet Plan
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
How Medicare Advantage Plans Work in New Hampshire
New Hampshire Medicare beneficiaries have a choice between different Advantage plan types, and each has its own coverage rules and stipulations. The four main types of Medicare Advantage Plans in New Hampshire are Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) and Special Needs Plan (SNP). Each one varies in price and differs when it comes to the referral requirements and the physicians network available to enrollees. The graphic below compares the four main types of Medicare Advantage plans.
What Medicare Advantage Plans Cover in New Hampshire
Medicare Advantage plans cover the same services as Original Medicare, excluding hospice care which remains covered under Medicare Part A. This includes services such as preventative screenings, hospital care and durable medical equipment, including wheelchairs and other mobility devices.
Medicare Advantage plan providers can also offer additional benefits such as dental, vision, hearing aids and prescription drug coverage. These extra benefits vary by plan, and it’s important to carefully review plan documents before selecting one.
Coverage Available With Medicare Parts A & B?
Coverage Available With Medicare Advantage?
Durable Medical Equipment
*Select plans offer this coverage
** Most plans offer this coverage
Eligibility for Medicare Advantage in New Hampshire
In the state of New Hampshire, all seniors age 65 and older adults with disabilities that make them eligible for Medicare Parts A and B can enroll in Medicare Advantage. Beneficiaries must be enrolled in Original Medicare before they can enroll in Medicare Advantage.
Some Medicare Advantage plans have additional eligibility requirements. For example, Medicare Special Needs Plans (SNP) are only available to those who are living with specific diseases or chronic conditions.
Medicare Advantage enrollment is only available during specific enrollment periods. It’s important for those considering Medicare Advantage to keep these enrollment periods in mind since there’s no way to modify coverage or sign up for a plan once the enrollment period is over. Medicare Advantage enrollment periods include:
Initial Coverage Election Period: This is the initial 7-month period, coinciding with one’s 65th birthday, during which everyone is eligible to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.
Annual Election Period (AEP): Also referred to as the Open Enrollment Period, this the time of year when anyone over 65 can enroll in Medicare Advantage for the first time or change to a new plan.
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period: During this period, those who are already enrolled in Medicare Advantage can switch to a different plan or switch back to Original Medicare.
Initial Coverage Election Period
3 Months Before One’s 65th Birth Month
3 Months After One’s 65th Birth Month
Annual Election Period (AEP)
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
Additionally, Medicare Advantage plan participants can change their plan outside of these enrollment periods under certain qualifying circumstances, such as moving to a new state.
How to Find & Choose a Medicare Advantage Plan in New Hampshire
Navigating the many intricacies of Medicare Advantage plan types, insurers, and the specific plan options available by region can be a difficult and time-consuming task. Below are several resources we’ve created to help you through the process.
First is a downloadable PDF that you can use as a guide to help you compare plans as you research. Finally, we have listed a number of organizations that you can contact with experts that will help you determine whether Medicare Advantage is right for you and what plans you should consider.
New Hampshire’s Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services provides social services and support to adults aged 60 and older. This state department has trained, certified Medicare specialists on staff who can help seniors understand their options when it comes to Medicare Advantage and other benefits.
The Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services’ Medicare specialists are available at ServiceLink Resource Centers throughout the state. Seniors can call 1-866-634-8412 to locate their nearest center or view a list of locations here.
The New Hampshire Insurance Department provides a variety of resources and information about Medicare and Medicare Advantage, as well as long-term care insurance and other insurance plans that are applicable to senior citizens.
Seniors who have concerns about their insurance provider or questions regarding Medicare Advantage plans can seek assistance by calling the department’s consumer hotline at 1-800-852-3416.
New Hampshire Medicaid Program
The New Hampshire Medicaid Program operates under the supervision of the Department of Health and Human Services. This program administers Medicaid plans for low-income individuals throughout the state. Its staff offers assistance to those who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, helping to coordinate benefits, answer questions about medical bills and access health care and other services that are covered by their benefit plans.
Questions about benefits in New Hampshire can be directed to the New Hampshire Medicaid Program by calling 1-800-852-3345.
New Hampshire Medication Bridge Program
Seniors who are enrolled in Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans may qualify for the New Hampshire Medication Bridge program. This program, which is sponsored by the Foundation for Healthy Communities, helps individuals who are not eligible for Medicaid pay for the cost of long-term prescription medications. In addition to providing prescription medication assistance, the Medication Bridge Program helps seniors and other individuals understand Medicare and Medicare Advantage benefits and other social assistance programs that might be suited to their needs.
Seniors can access Medicare Advantage assistance by visiting the Human Services office in person at 28 Commercial St. in Concord, or call 603-225-8575 for more information.
Our Lady of Fatima Church – Loaves and Fishes Ministry
The Loaves and Fishes Ministry is a social assistance program that helps low-income families and individuals with short-term financial needs. Most often, the program provides cash to help those in need pay for utilities, food or clothing; however, the program does accept other requests on a case-by-case basis and in temporary times of need may be able to provide assistance with Medicare Advantage premiums or other health care expenses.
To request assistance, seniors may call the ministry’s helpline at 1-800-978-6395 and leave a message. The ministry returns all calls within 24 hours.
City of Manchester Department of Senior Services
The Manchester Senior Services department provides a broad range of assistance services for elderly persons in the city and the surrounding areas. This includes Medicare and Medicaid counseling services that are designed to help seniors understand their benefits, file claims and manage appeals whenever needed.
Medicare or Medicaid benefits counseling or assistance through the Senior Services department is available at the William B. Cashin Senior Activity Center, which is located at 151 Douglas Street in Manchester. Alternatively, seniors may call 603-624-6533 for more information.