Medicare Supplement Plans in Idaho
As a way to protect Medicare beneficiaries from the deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, and uncovered medical service gaps left by Original Medicare, Medicare Supplement plans in Idaho remain a popular choice. Before you make a final decision about your own Medicare Supplement plan, read this concise overview of Medigap plans in Idaho, trends, and rules.
Enrollment Statistics for Medicare Supplement Plans in Idaho
These local enrollment figures can offer you a picture of some Idaho trends for Medicare enrollment:
- Total Idaho Medicare beneficiaries: Over 200,000
- Medicare Supplement plan holders: Over 67,000
- Popular Medigap plan: Plan F, with about 46,000 state enrollees
This is a list of the most populated Idaho counties:
- Ada County, ID: 444,028
- Canyon County, ID: 211,698
- Kootenai County, ID: 154,311
- Bonneville County, ID: 112,232
- Bannock County, ID: 84,377
Premium Calculations for Medicare Supplement Plans in Idaho
Idaho is one of four states that require an insurance company to offer issue-age or community-rated plans. This is why this matters:
The insurer sets the base price by the age of the beneficiary at the time of the first purchase.
The insurer has to base their rates upon an average age for a geographic area.
These two kinds of rating systems may make Idaho quotes appear more expensive for younger beneficiaries who have just turned 65 than the premiums for attained-age Medicare Supplements that are so common in other states.
Even though you can expect your Medicare Supplement plan in Idaho to get more expensive over time because of inflation and higher average costs, you won’t get penalized for getting older. With an issue-age rating system, you can buy your plan at age 65 and enjoy the same rates as other 65-year old Medicare recipients when you are 85. With an attained-age plan, your rates would continue to increase based on your current age.
Available Medicare Supplement Plans in Idaho
You must choose a Medicare Supplement plan in Idaho that is one of the 10 standardized plans defined by Medicare. Every plan offers basic coverage, including the first three pints of blood and inpatient and outpatient coinsurance. Beyond that different Medicare, policies vary by benefits that they offer and of course, premiums.
These are some trends in Idaho enrollment:
- Plan F, G, N, and C are the four most common choices in the state.
- Even though Plan F usually has higher premiums and the most robust coverage, it also ranks first in popularity by quite a wide margin.
While Plan F still maintains its sizable lead, Plan G and N are gaining in popularity the fastest. This may be because these alternatives still offer good benefits for somewhat lower premiums. As a Medicare beneficiary, you may need to balance the benefits you receive against the monthly premiums you have to pay.
How Do Medicare Supplement Plans in Idaho Cover Prescriptions?
You can’t count on Medicare Supplement plans to cover common prescription medicine that you may get from a local or online pharmacy. They will only help you pay for the cost of some prescription medication that you may get in outpatient or inpatient facilities from medical providers. Since a Medigap plan is meant to fill in the gaps for Original Medicare, it pays for the same kinds of things that Part A and Part B do.
To avoid a possible penalty and get any help paying for most prescription medications, you’ll also have to enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan. You can choose one when you first become eligible for Medicare and switch during the Annual Election Period for Part D every fall.
When to Enroll in Medicare Supplement Plans in Idaho
In Idaho, about 84 percent of Medicare beneficiaries qualify upon turning 65; the rest are younger and disabled. For most people, the best time to enroll in and compare a Medicare Supplement plan will be when you are first enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B after you have turned 65. Note that some people delay Part B enrollment past their 65th birthday because they still have health insurance from a job.
Either way, you will get a Medigap Open Enrollment Period that starts when you are first enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B and at least 65. It lasts for six months from the first day of the month of your first enrollment.
Enrollment for Under age 65
Starting in January of 2018, Idaho also required each insurance company to offer a Medicare Supplement plan to disabled people who were under 65 years old and received Medicare benefits because of a qualifying disability. Before that, the insurers could exclude this portion of younger recipients. They get the same six-month Initial Enrollment Period as older beneficiaries.
Enrolling Outside of Medigap Open Enrollment
You may also get Special Election Periods outside of the regular Initial Enrollment Period if you lose other coverage, move, or your current plan ends service. At other times, anybody with Original Medicare is still eligible for Medicare Supplement plans.
It’s just that insurers may increase your rates, decline your application, or give you a waiting period for pre-existing conditions. If you’re a relatively active and healthy senior citizen, you may still qualify for Medicare Supplement plans. If you have a particular concern about a health condition, you can always let an experienced agent guide you. They can usually compare applications and advise you on the best companies or another kind of Medicare insurance.
Using Idaho Medicare Supplement Plans in Other States
Medicare Supplement plan owners usually like the flexibility that they get with their insurance. You should be able to use your benefits all over the country with just about any healthcare provider that accepts Medicare. Some of the Medigap plans in Idaho even cover urgent medical care in other countries. This offers you peace of mind if you intend to roam a bit during your retirement.
If you buy your Medigap plan from one of the larger companies, you can probably transfer it to a new address if you decide to move. You will need to notify your company of the change, and it’s possible that your rates will also change because of your new home address.
Idaho Medicare Resources
These important Idaho resources may help you understand your benefits better: