Montana Medicare beneficiaries are among some of the fastest-growing senior populations in the nation. As baby boomers retire and move out of urban areas in larger numbers, a state like Montana with wide-open spaces is very appealing. Fortunately, there many great Montana Medicare supplement plans and a few advantage plans to choose from.
Montana Medicare Supplemental Plans
People with Medicare in Montana have access to the same standard Medigap plans that beneficiaries in most states do. Medicare supplement plans in Montana are private health insurance plans that pay for things that Medicare does not cover, such as deductibles and coinsurance.
Medicare supplements in Montana work in conjunction with your Original Medicare benefits to ensure you are covered for healthcare services. However, Medigap plans only pay after Medicare pays. Therefore, if Medicare doesn’t approve a service, then your Medigap plan won’t pay either.
There are 10 total standardized plans available in Montana and one high deductible plan. Since these plans are standardized, you can expect the identical level of coverage for plans of the same letter no matter which insurance carrier that you purchase from.
You can find plans like the ever-popular Medigap Plan F, which provides first-dollar coverage. This means no copays or out-of-pocket spending for hospital stays, surgeries, lab work, diagnostic imaging tests, x-rays, doctor’s visits, and much more. However, Plan F won’t be around forever. After 2020, Medigap Plan F will only be allowed to people who were eligible for Medicare before 2020.
The next most comprehensive Medigap plan is Plan G. Plan G covers everything Medigap Plan F covers except the Part B deductible. Since the Part B deductible is the lower deductible out of Part A and Part B, and Plan G’s premiums are usually lower than Plan F’s, beneficiaries can usually save money by choosing Plan G over Plan F.
Enrolling into a Montana Medicare Supplement Plan
When you first join Medicare Part B, you will have a 6-month Medicare supplement open enrollment window. During this time, you can enroll in any Medicare supplement in Montana with no health questions asked. You cannot be turned down for pre-existing conditions. You have a guaranteed issue right to coverage.
Once this window expires, it is gone forever. After that time, applying for a Medicare supplement would include completing an application and answering health questions. The insurance company can accept you or decline you based on your health.
For this reason, many people consider the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment window the best time to join a supplement.
Types of Medicare Supplement Plans in Montana
Many insurance companies in Montana offer issue-age Medigap policies. When you enroll, you will always be rated at the age that the policy was issued. Many people like this because there are no rate increases on your birthday when you turn a year older. That means if you buy your policy at age 65 or 66 and so on, it will always be cheaper than if you bought it at an older age.
Other carriers may offer attained-age policies. In this policy type, your rate is based on your attained age. These policies may increase slightly from year to year due to your aging.
All Medigap policies, whether issue-age rated or attained-age rated, will still incur annual rate increases for inflation though. Our agency can check rates for all companies and see which carriers have the most cost-effective options for you.
If Medigap policies are outside of your budget, then you might look at Medicare Advantage plans in Montana.
Montana Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage plans are private health insurance plans that will pay for your Medicare Part A and B services in place of Medicare. You present your insurance card to your doctor, and he will bill the Advantage plan.
There are HMO and PPO plan options available in various counties. Typically, HMO plans have smaller networks, and you must see those providers except in emergencies. Most HMO plans will require you to choose a primary care doctor and see him first before seeking care with a specialist.
Medicare PPO plans are a bit more flexible. You can see doctors on the network without referrals in most cases. You can also treat outside the network at a higher cost to you.
Both types of Medicare Advantage plans in Montana may include a built-in Medicare Part D drug plan. Often premiums are less than Medigap plans, but you will have more copays on the back end of the policy.
You must be enrolled in both Medicare Parts A and B and live in the plan service area. Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan in Montana does NOT get you out of paying for Part B.
Our licensed Medicare experts can help you explore the Montana Medicare Advantage plans in your county.
Choosing your Montana Medicare Plan
When shopping for your coverage, there several things to consider. Do you like the idea of a network of physicians, or would you prefer to be able to see any provider that accepts Medicare? How much cost-sharing are you able to do, or would you prefer a plan that picks up all of your cost-sharing for Medicare-covered services?
These are the kinds of questions that the staff at Boomer Benefits can walk you through which will help you to narrow down your plan choices to one that fits your needs and budget.