Montana Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)
Medicare beneficiaries residing in Montana can obtain extra insurance coverage that provides additional assistance for out of pocket (OOP) costs not covered by their Traditional Medicare insurance.
These plans are called Medicare Supplement Plans, or Medigap Plans. They work in accordance with Original Medicare. These plans includes coverage for deductibles, copayments and coinsurance.
Medicare is broken down into 4 separate parts whereas Medicare Supplement Plans are broken down into a variety of different letter plans.Both will be explained further on this page.
Montana Medicare Benefits Explained
- Medicare Part A: which is your hospital and any inpatient benefits.
- Medicare Part B: benefits include your physician office visits and any outpatient medical expenses.
- Medicare Part C: This plan is also a Medicare Replacement Plan and it provides the same exact benefits as Traditional Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B but comes with some policy limitations/restrictions.
- Medicare Part D: provides prescription drug coverage which is not offered by straight Medicare.
Medicare Supplement Plans offered in Montana offer additional insurance benefits for the other medical expenses that Medicare doesn’t pay. Depending on your healthcare needs you can choose one of ten different letter plans to provide additional Medicare support.
What Medicare benefits Include in Montana
Traditional Medicare benefits only cover 80% of the Medicare allowable. And while this may seem like a lot, the remaining 20% of inpatient and outpatient service costs can quickly add up.
So whether you end up using your Part A or Part B benefits, a Medicare Supplement Plan can easily help diminish some of those looming healthcare costs not covered by straight Medicare.
Requirements for Montana Medicare Supplement Plans
Montana seniors must be 65 years of age and already carrying Medicare Part B to become eligible for a Medicare Supplement Plan.
You then have what is called an Open Enrollment Period (OEP) which is a timeframe of seven months to obtain insurance. Your OEP begins the three months prior to your 65th birthday and continues for the following four months.
If you fail to enroll during your OEP you will be charged a Part B penalty. The penalty increases the monthly premiums by 10% for each full year you went without Medicare Part B coverage.
With most seniors already on a fixed income it’s important to enroll during OEP to avoid any increased monthly expenses.
Certain individuals can be deemed eligible for Medicare benefits under the age of 55 however, they must meet certain criteria. The must currently carry Social Security Disability benefits, or certain Railroad Retirement Benefits.
After 24 months then they are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Additionally, those individuals who have End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) are eligible for Medicare also.
Federal law does not require the individual insurance carriers to offer Medicare Supplement Plans however some state laws allow for it. Luckily enough, the great state of Montana is one of those states that provide supplemental insurance plans.
If you’re currently disabled and under the age of 65 call us today for more information regarding plans available for you.
How to Apply for Medicare Supplement Plans in Montana
You’ll want to apply for whichever Medicare Supplement Plan you choose during your Open Enrollment Period. After having turned 65, the following month, on the 1st, you become eligible to apply.
However, remember, you must already be currently enrolled in Medicare Part B. The first six months after you enroll into Part B, you’ll have what is called the Guaranteed Issue (GI) right.
With the GI right, you are, “guaranteed”, insurance coverage. The beauty of the GI right is that regardless of any pre-existing medical conditions you may have, the insurance carriers are required to accept you.
Additionally, they are unable to raise your insurance premiums based on any medical issues you may have.
Failing to enroll while you have the GI eligibility can result in the insurance underwriting process, higher monthly premiums and even coverage denial altogether.
Montana Medicare Rates
Insurance premium costs have a variety of methods they use when determining pricing. The individual insurance carrier itself decides what to charge each individual and factors include age, gender and location.
So a 77 year old gentleman living in Helena will be charged differently than an 84 year old female living in Butte.
Premium rates are also determined on which of the 3 different pricing methods are used. Community rated pricing, issue-age rated pricing and attained-age-rated pricing are the different pricing methods and you can click >
The Best Medicare Supplement Plans in Montana
Across the country, various insurance companies offer Medicare Supplement Plans. There are many letter plans available with MOST of the state supplemental insurance policies however, some states offer less.
Depending on which company your choose for coverage, the benefits stay the same however, the premiums may vary depending on the individual carrier.
Of the Medicare Supplement Plans available to Montana residents, the best coverage is offered within these 3 letter plans, Plans F, G and N.
Plan F in Montana
Plan F is considered the top of all the letter plans as it offers the best overall benefits.
It provides 100% coverage for the Medicare Part A and B deductibles with the added benefit of picking up coverage for the remaining 20% not covered by Traditional Medicare.
Additionally, it covers Medicare Part B copayments and coinsurance. Unlike some of the letter plans it also has the added benefit of foreign travel coverage.
Plan F High Deductible in Montana
Plan F High Deductible provides the exact same benefits as regular Plan F, just obviously with a higher deductible. A lot of seniors opt for this plan due to its great benefits that are offered at a lower premium cost.
However, both Plan Fs mentioned above till be going away in 2020. You can read more about that here.
Plan N in Montana
Another popular plan in Montana is Plan N. With its less expensive monthly premiums it’s also consider a cost-sharing plan. This plan offers less benefits but with the, “cost sharing”, this means a discount is applied that lowers what is owed for OOP costs associated with medical care.
Another downside to Plan N that Plan F offers is there is no coverage for excess charges. Physicians in Montana are allowed to up charge these excess charges which puts you at a disadvantage for more OOP expenses. Also, unlike Plan F, with Plan N, a small copayment is required for ER trips and doctor office visits.
Plan G in Montana
Plan G is comparable to Plan F when it comes to benefits however, there is no deductible coverage for Medicare Part B. It will benefit Montana residents though as it covers the physician excess charges which Plan N won’t cover.
Plan G is the runner up to first-dollar coverage plans. If you’re not Medicare eligible until after 2020, Plan G would be the next best choice.
Montana Medicare Advantage Plans
With Medicare Advantage Plans replacing your Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B benefits, many people at first find this to be a better option than a Supplement Plan as it tends to be cheaper.
While the premium costs may be lower each month, Medicare Advantage Plans come with restrictions and coverage limitations.
Additionally, these insurance policies may require prior-authorizations that normally would be covered under your straight Medicare benefits.
Overtime, most seniors find that an advantage plan costs more in the long run due to the unforeseen medical costs and end up with a supplement plan instead.
Due to a high amount of new advantage beneficiaries getting stuck in a plan they didn’t want, Medicare brought back the Open Enrollment Period specifically for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries.
Part D Plans Plans for Medicare in Montana
Without prescription medication coverage being offered with straight Medicare or any of the Medicare Supplement Plans, seniors should highly consider a Medicare Part D plan.
The Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) cover most, if not the full cost of any medically necessary medications written by your healthcare provider.
With prescriptions drugs being quite costly these days, there is more pros than cons when it comes to purchasing a PDP. One of the major cons is the Part D.
This penalty starts after your 7 month IEP. Depending on how long you went without PDP coverage, your monthly premium is increased accordingly.
For the best overall coverage with the least OOP costs to seniors, an ideal combination of insurance would include Original Medicare, a Medigap Plan and a Prescription Drug Plan combined.
How to Apply for a Medicare Supplement Plan in Montana
For seniors residing in Montana, applying for a Medicare Supplement Plan is easy! If you’re currently enrolled in the federal Medicare program, contact us today.
You can either call our toll free number or fill out our online form here. It’s that simple! The sooner you call, the sooner you can apply and the sooner we can start saving you money! Don’t get caught off guard by the Part B and Part D late enrollment penalty.
As always, our services are 100% free, and our Client Service Team will provide you with continued Medicare support as long as you’re enrolled in a supplement plan through us.
Resources for Medicare Help in Montana
If you’re a senior with Medicare benefits and living on a fixed income, you may qualify for some assistance through a Medicare Savings program.
Each state has their own individual assistance program that provides free counseling and financial aid to assist in copays, deductibles and other OOP medical expenses. To learn more about Montana’s Medicare savings program click here MONTANA SHIP.
West Virginia FAQs
- What Medicare Supplement plans does Blue Cross of Montana offer? BCBS offers a variety of Medicare Supplement Plans. We can help you navigate through their insurance companies different plans to find out which policy best suits your needs. Contact us today for further assistance.
- Has Medicare cut prescription drug coverage in Montana? Traditional Medicare itself does not cover any medications however, you can purchase a stand alone Prescription Drug Plan for RX benefits. You can contact us for more information.