Medicare Supplement Plans in Montana
As a Medicare beneficiary, you may decide to purchase a Medicare Supplement plan in Montana to help pay for Original Medicare coinsurance, copayments, deductibles, and some uncovered bills. Your best choice between available Medicare insurance and even your individual Medigap plan might depend upon your age, prior coverage, guaranteed-issue rights, and health history.
Enrollment Statistics for Medicare Supplement Plans in Montana
These enrollment numbers for Montana show some local trends in this state:
- Montanans with Original Medicare: About 170,000
- Number of Medigap plans in MT: About 69,000
- Popular Medicare Supplement plan in Montana: Plan F, with about 48,000 people enrolled
These counties in Montana have the highest populations:
- Yellowstone County, MT: 158,437
- Missoula County, MT: 116,130
- Gallatin County, MT: 104,502
- Flathead County, MT: 98,082
- Cascade County, MT: 81,755
How Montana Insurance Companies Calculate Rates
You have to be careful when you compare premiums for Montana Medigap plans because the state allows three different pricing methods, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
By far, these are most common in Montana and represent 83 percent of the Medigap plan offerings. This means that the insurance company will always base premiums upon your current age.
About 10 percent of Medicare Supplement plans for this state is based upon the age of issue.
These are fairly rare in this state. This means that the insurer will base premiums upon the average age for a community.
If you’re just turning 65 years old, you will probably see that an attained-age Medicare Supplement plans in Montana look a lot cheaper than the other options. However, the insurer can continue to increase your rates as you get older. Of course, insurers may increase prices for other reasons too. You can’t just judge rate stability by an initial premium, so it’s a good idea to learn more about the rate history any insurers you plan to buy from.
Available Medicare Supplement Plans in Montana?
Montana uses the same 10 standardized plans that are available in most states. Each of these plans offers certain basic benefits, like the first three pints of blood and Part A and B coinsurance. Beyond that, they may vary because of benefits and of course, rates.
To help you compare various Medicare Supplement plans in Montana, it might help to know the order of popularity of some common choices. These are Plan F, G, C, and N. Plan F offers the most benefits allowed by the government.
Plan G and N are very similar to Plan F:
Won’t cover excess charges, or those bills that are higher than Medicare allows will be your responsibility.
Covers excess charges, but it doesn’t pay the annual deductible for Part B.
Most robust plan available
Meanwhile, Plan N still gives Medicare beneficiaries robust coverage; however, it has more cost-sharing in exchange for lower rates. Nationwide, Plan F, G, and N are the most commonly chosen Medicare Supplements, and Plan G and N are rising in popularity quickly.
Do Medicare Supplement Plans in Montana Cover Drugs?
A Medicare Supplement plan won’t come with a Medicare prescription drug plan like most Medicare Advantage plans do. That’s because the people who came up with the idea of creating a Medicare Supplement plan wanted it to closely follow the benefits offered by Original Medicare:
- Part A has some coverage for inpatient prescriptions.
- Part B only covers prescriptions in very specific circumstances that usually involved getting medicine inside of an outpatient facility.
With a Medicare Supplement plan in Montana, you will also need Part D or another qualified drug plan for routine prescriptions. You are welcome to look for the best Medicare prescription drug plan to help pay for your prescriptions during your Initial Enrollment Period. You can also switch during the annual Part D Open Enrollment each autumn.
Your Medicare Supplement insurance company may also sell Part D; however, you don’t have to buy a Medicare prescription plan from the same company that you buy Medicare Supplement plans from.
When to Enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan in Montana
If you’re over 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, you get a Medigap Open Enrollment Period that begins on the first day of the month you enroll and lasts for six more months afterward. During this time, you get guaranteed-issue rights for any Medicare Supplement plan in Montana.
You may also be able to delay this period if you also intend to delay Part B because you have creditable coverage from another source. Also, you may have shorter periods when you regain guaranteed-issue rights because you lost your old insurance plan because you moved, your old plan stopped operating in your area, you lost your job, and for a few other reasons.
You may still qualify for a Medigap plan if you don’t have guaranteed-issue rights. You just have to be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. If you’re outside of one of the Guaranteed Enrollment Periods, the private insurers who offer these plans could decline you or increase your rates. If you’re relatively healthy, you may still qualify.
Under 65 Medicare Beneficiaries
If you’re a Medicare beneficiary who is under 65, you should know that Montana doesn’t offer you these same guarantees. If you can enroll in a Medigap plan, the company may also charge you more. For this reason, younger Medicare beneficiaries may find that Medicare Advantage offers a better choice. When you do turn 65, you will enjoy the same Open Enrollment Period as people who are entirely new to Medicare.
Using Montana Medicare Supplement Plans in Other States
You may find that Medicare Supplement plans in Montana can also help you remain covered while you travel around the United States. You should be able to use your plan at virtually any provider that also accepts Medicare, so this can be a major benefit.
If you intend to travel overseas, you might consider one of the Medicare Supplement plans that also cover urgent medical care in other countries. Original Medicare covers virtually no medical care outside of the U.S.
If you choose to move outside of Montana, nationwide insurers will let you take your plan with you if you want to. You may find that premiums differ quite a bit in your new town or city. The rules in your new state may also give you a chance to shop around for a new Medicare Supplement plan.
Montana Medicare Resources