You probably already know that you can find a Medicare Supplement plan in Maine. At the same time, some variations in state rules may cause local beneficiaries to make different choices than they would make in other states. Take a moment to learn more about the Pine Tree State’s unique population and regulations first. That way, you can decide how well Medicare Supplement plans in Maine will suit your needs.
Enrollment Statistics for Medicare Plans in Maine
These figures highlight Medicare and Medicare Supplement enrollment in Maine:
- Original Medicare beneficiaries: About 228,000
- Medigap policies: Over 71,000
- A popular choice of Medicare Supplement plans: Plan F, with about 44,000 enrollees
This list displays the most populated Maine counties:
- Cumberland County, MN: 292,041
- York, MN: 202,343
- Penobscot, MN: 151,806
- Kennebec, MN: 120,569
- Androscoggin, MN: 107,319
Rate Calculations for Medicare Supplement Plans in Maine
As in only eight U.S. states, an insurance company can only offer a community rated Medicare Supplement plan in Maine. This means that companies cannot use your current age or the age you were when you bought your original Medigap plan to determine premiums. Instead, they have to use an average age for everybody in the area.
This can help protect you from suffering from a longevity penalty if you keep your Medicare Supplement plan for a long time. On the other hand, you should probably expect rates to increase over time because of inflation, rising costs, and so on. Along with comparing current rates, you should also check out an insurer’s rate stability.
Which Maine Medicare Supplement Plans Can You Buy?
Maine is one of 47 U.S. States that allow companies to offer one of 10 standard plans, all with letter names from Plan A to Plan N. Each Medicare Supplement plan in Maine offers certain basic benefits, like coverage for the coinsurance for inpatient and outpatient care and extra hospital days. All Medicare Supplement plans in Maine are meant to help pay for the “gaps” a Medicare beneficiary might have with Part A and B because of various deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.
More robust and expensive Medigap plans also provide extra benefits that may eliminate or drastically reduce out-of-pocket medical costs for things that Original Medicare covers. They don’t help pay for routine vision exams or dental care and hearing aids because Part A and B of Original Medicare don’t cover these things either. You may find some insurance companies that will offer you a membership package that offers discounts on some of these other essential medical services.
These are things to know about Maine Medigap plan choices:
- The five most popular choices for Medicare Supplement plans in Maine are:
- Plan F, Plan C, Plan N, Plan A, and Plan G.
- Nationwide, Plan F also continues to be the most common choice as it gives a Medicare beneficiary coverage for everything Medicare allows a Medicare Supplement plan to cover.
- Plan F and C are almost identical, but Plan C doesn’t cover excess charges for healthcare providers that charge more than Medicare-Assignment allowed amounts.
- In many states, Plan G and Plan N rank second and third in popularity.
As you do with any other kind of health insurance, you have to weigh the benefits against the rates to come up with the best solution for your own needs.
How Does a Maine Medicare Supplement Plan Handle Prescriptions?
You can’t rely upon any Medicare Supplement plan to provide you with benefits that help pay for typical prescription medicine that you buy at a pharmacy and take home. Just like Original Medicare, they will only help with certain prescriptions you get administered at a medical facility.
For typical prescription drugs, you need a Medicare prescription drug plan. If you don’t have drug insurance, you could get penalized if you enroll in Part D late and lack help paying for expensive medicine. Many insurers that offer Medicare Supplement plans in Maine will also sell you a Medicare prescription drug plan. You are never required to buy your Part D and Medicare Supplement plan from the same insurer or even the same agent.
When to Enroll in Medicare Supplement Plans in Maine
The main requirement the government imposes to enroll in Medigap policies is simply to have enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. In addition, Maine follows the federal law that lets you have a Medigap plan Open Enrollment Period during the first six months you have both Part A and B and have already turned 65.
These are some highlights of Maine rules governing Medigap plan enrollment:
- Some people can delay this Initial Enrollment Period after turning 65 because they have other qualified health insurance from work.
- During this six-month period, an insurance company cannot turn you down or charge more because of a pre-existing medical condition.
- Maine state rules allow you to switch from a higher plan to a lower plan without having to answer health questions. For instance, you can switch from Plan G to N within 90 days of having your old policy terminated.
- There is also another Maine rule that forces insurers to offer only Plan A once each year for one month without asking health questions. Plan A is the most basic of all of the Medicare Supplement plans in Maine.
- You may also qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you lose your current plan due to moving, losing a job, and some other reasons.
- The best time to compare Medigap plans is during a Medigap Open Enrollment Period.