Medicare Supplement Plans in Montana
With no annual out-of-pocket limit, it's no wonder so many Medicare beneficiaries choose to supplement their coverage in some way. Medicare Supplement plans in Montana help cover a variety of out-of-pocket costs.
What Is Medigap in Montana?
Medigap plans help cover some – or even all – of your out-of-pocket costs when you have Original Medicare. This includes Part A, inpatient services, and Part B, outpatient services.
There are 10 basic Medicare Supplement plans in Montana: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N, although not every Medigap insurer offers all 10 plans. Some insurance companies also provide high-deductible versions of one or more plans.
Medigap plans are standardized, meaning that you get the same benefits with a particular plan regardless of your insurance company. Although benefits are standardized, costs are not. Medigap insurers determine their own premiums but must work within state and federal guidelines.
Unlike Original Medicare, you are not guaranteed a Supplement plan unless you have a guaranteed issue right. At all other times, your application goes through medical underwriting, which involves answering a series of health-related questions. Insurance companies decide whether to sell you a Medigap policy and for how much based on your answers.
Who Qualifies for Medicare Supplement Insurance in Montana?
At the federal level, you qualify for Medicare Supplement Insurance in Montana as soon as you're aged 65 or older AND enrolled in Original Medicare. Most states also require Medigap insurers to offer plans to under-65 beneficiaries who qualify for Medicare due to a disability. This has included Montana since 2013.
Montana does not limit how much insurers can charge under-65 beneficiaries for a Medigap policy. If you qualify for Medicare due to a disability and aren't yet 65 years old, expect to pay several times more than over-65 Medicare beneficiaries do.
What Does Medigap Cover?
Medicare Supplement coverage varies according to the plan you choose. However, at a minimum, every Medigap plan pays your Medicare Part A coinsurance and gives you 365 additional lifetime reserve days for inpatient hospital care.
The following table details which benefits each Medigap plan includes:
No Medicare Supplement Insurance plan includes prescription drug coverage. To get this protection, you need to join a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. You may also sign up for a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan (MA-PD). However, once you join an Advantage plan, you cannot also have Medigap.
Medigap Plan C and Medigap Plan F in Montana
Medigap Plan C and Medigap Plan F are not available to people who qualify for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. A new federal law forbids Supplement plans that cover the Medicare Part B deductible.
We recommend Medigap Plan D or Medigap Plan G instead. With the exception of the Part B deductible, these plans offer the same benefits as Plans C and F, respectively. They also usually give you a lower out-of-pocket overall, which is why we've recommended Plans D and G for years.
When Is the Best Time to Join a Medicare Supplement Plan in Montana?
The best time to join a Montana Medicare Supplement plan is during your 6-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period (OEP). It begins the day you enroll in both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. During your OEP, you have guaranteed issue rights.
- If you're age 65 or older, this means your application cannot be rejected. You also can't be charged a higher premium, even if you have preexisting conditions.
- If you're under age 65, you're guaranteed a Medigap policy during your OEP. However, you may be charged a higher premium.
People who qualify for Medicare due to a disability get a second Medigap Open Enrollment Period when they turn 65. This includes the same protections as if they had never had a Medigap plan.
How to Choose a Medigap Plan in Montana
The first step is to decide on your desired level of coverage. We recommend choosing a plan with the most comprehensive benefits you can afford. Unless you have a guaranteed issue right, your Medigap application goes through medical underwriting. If you wait, it may be impossible to get the coverage you need.
The next concern is pricing. Most Medigap insurers use one of three pricing methods:
- Attained-age rated: Premiums start out low but go up as you age. These policies are usually the most expensive option over time.
- Community rated: Also known as no-age rated, these plans charge the same premium regardless of age. Over time, most experts agree that these are the cheapest Medigap plans.
- Issue-age rated: Premiums are based on your age at the time you join the plan, not your age throughout the life of the policy. They may rise over time due to inflation, though.
Montana Medigap insurers mostly use attained-age and issue-age pricing.
Our Find a Plan tool makes it easy to compare Medigap plans in Montana. Simply enter your location information and coverage start date to review Medicare plan options in your area.