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Are you in Michigan researching your Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplement, or prescription drug plan options? Here's how to sign up for Medicare in Michigan.

By Kat Tretina
Updated June 30, 2020

Key Takeaways:

  • Over 2 million people are enrolled in Medicare in Michigan

  • Michigan Medicare enrollees pay slightly more on average than people nationwide

  • Michigan has a Medicare Savings Program and a Medigap Subsidy Program for low-income individuals and couples

  • You can get free health-benefit counseling from the Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program

Whether you're a lifelong Michigan resident or recently relocated to the Great Lake state for your retirement, it's a beautiful place to live.

As you plan for your retirement, healthcare expenses are likely a major concern. As you near age 65, Medicare coverage can provide substantial assistance. In fact, 15% of Michigan's population is insured through Medicare.

Here's how to sign up for Medicare in Michigan.

Who Is Eligible for Medicare In Michigan?

Over 1.3 million people are enrolled in Original Medicare in Michigan, and approximately 762,000 people are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. An additional 1.1 million are enrolled in Medicare prescription drug plans.

Medicare is health insurance provided by the federal government. If you're 65 years old or older, you're eligible for Medicare. Some younger people with disabilities and long-term kidney failure may also qualify for Medicare coverage.

Medicare helps cover some of your healthcare costs, including hospital services and doctor visits. However, it doesn't cover everything. It doesn't pay for dental or vision care, dentures, or hearing aids.

find a medicare plan that fits your lifestyle

Medicare Options In Michigan

As in other states, there are multiple Medicare options in Michigan.

Original Medicare

Original Medicare is managed by the federal government and is made up of two parts.

  • Medicare Part A: Part A covers hospital care, skilled nursing facilities, and hospice care. You can choose your own healthcare provider, as long as they accept Medicare. For Part A, a monthly premium is not required if you are 65 or older and paid Medicare taxes while working. If you don't qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A, you can buy Part A with a monthly premium.

  • Medicare Part B: Part B coverage is for doctor visits and medical services. It also covers preventative care, like routine screenings and wellness visits. With Part B, there is usually a monthly premium and yearly deductible.

In Michigan, the average enrollee spends $11,318 per year on Medicare. That's slightly higher than the national average of $10,986 per year.

If you can't afford the Medicare Part B premiums, deductibles, or other expenses, Michigan runs a Medicare Savings Program for low-income individuals. To qualify, your income must be at or below 135% of the federal poverty level. If eligible, you could save up to $1,700 per year on your Medicare Part B premiums. For more information, contact the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Medicare Advantage Plans (Medicare Part C)

Unlike Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans aren't managed by the government. Instead, they are insurance plans offered by private companies that contract with Medicare to bundle Part A and Part B services. Medicare Advantage plans typically provide services not covered by Original Medicare, such as hearing, vision, and prescription drug coverage.

Your cost depends on the plan you choose. You may have a monthly premium, yearly deductible, copayments, and coinsurance.

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Medicare Part D)

Medicare prescription drug plans are an optional benefit you can purchase to get prescription drug coverage. You'll have to pay a monthly premium, and you may have a yearly deductible and copayments.

Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)

Medicare Supplement plans, often referred to as Medigap, are insurance policies you can purchase from private insurance companies to cover expenses not covered by Original Medicare, such as copayments or your deductible. The cost of a Medigap policy is dependent on your plan, but you'll typically pay a monthly premium.

In Michigan, you may qualify for help with your Medigap premiums with the Michigan Medigap Subsidy. If eligible, you could reduce your premiums by up to $110 per month. To qualify, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a household income at or below 225% of the federal poverty level

  • Qualify for Medicare

  • Have qualifying Medigap coverage from a participating insurer

  • Be a Michigan resident

For more information or to apply, visit MichiganMedigapSubsidy.com.

How to Sign Up For Medicare in Michigan

If you want to learn how to sign up for Medicare in Michigan, it's important to know how to apply. Follow these three steps to get started.

1. Sign Up for Medicare Through Social Security

If you're over 65 or will be turning 65 within the next three months and aren't receiving Social Security benefits yet, you need to sign up for Medicare coverage. You can apply for Medicare online.

If you only want Medicare insurance and don't want to start taking Social Security, you can use the online application to sign up only for Medicare coverage. The application takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

If you'd prefer, you can also apply in-person at your local Social Security office.

2. Choose Your Plan

Next, select your Medicare coverage. You'll receive an official "Medicare & You" handbook once you're enrolled with detailed information about your plan options, and you can use the Medicare Plan Finder tool to compare plans and pricing to find coverage that meets your needs.

3. Complete the Medicare Checklist

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recommend completing the Year One: Your Medicare Checklist during the first 12 months you're on Medicare. Following the checklist will allow you to get the most out of your benefits and help you prepare for emergencies.

Michigan Medicare Resources

Figuring out your Medicare options can be overwhelming. If you're a Michigan resident and need help with your Medicare benefits, the Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) is a free health-benefit counseling service you can use.

Local counselors can explain your different Medicare plan options, enroll in Medicare Savings Programs, and review your Medigap insurance needs. Call 1-800-803-7174 or visit mmapinc.org for assistance.

Kat Tretina is from Orlando, Florida and specializes in writing about finance and healthcare.