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As a Medicare beneficiary in Montana, you may want to think about joining a Medicare Supplement plan, which may help pay for out-of-pocket expenses associated with Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, including copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. There are various Medicare Supplement plans available in Montana, depending on the zip code in which you live, so it’s important to understand what each Medicare Supplement plan offers so you can determine if this type of insurance can work for your health and budget needs.
Montana is one of 47 US states that offer the same 10 standardized Medicare Supplement plans. Each Medicare Supplement plan is identified by one of 10 letters (A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N), with plans of the same letter offering the same benefits, although some companies may offer additional innovative benefits. Only three states–Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin–offer different types of standardized Medicare Supplement plans.
If you want to join Medicare Supplement in Montana, you must first be enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B. The Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Supplement in Montana and the rest of the United States starts the first day you are both age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. This period lasts for six months. During this time frame, you can sign up for any Medicare Supplement plan available in your area, with the insurance company of your choosing, without being denied coverage for pre-existing conditions or being required to undergo medical underwriting (although waiting periods may apply). Understand that if you decide to sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan in Montana after your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period ends, you may be denied coverage or charged more for your insurance plan.
Medicare Supplement in Montana is designed to supplement Original Medicare, not replace it, so you must remain enrolled in Original Medicare and continue paying your Medicare Part B premium to retain your health insurance coverage. If you’re seeking prescription drug coverage as well, you may want to sign up for a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan, since Medicare Supplement does not offer any such coverage.
The 10 types of standardized Medicare Supplement plans available in Montana and most of the United States offer different levels of coverage. Here’s a look at the kind of benefits you can expect to receive under the various Medicare Supplement plans in Montana.
|Medicare Supplement Plans|
|Medicare Supplement Benefits||A||B||C||D||F||G||K||L||M||N|
|Medicare Part A coinsurance hospital costs up to an additional
365 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted
|Medicare Part B copayment or coinsurance coverage||X||X||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X||X|
|First 3 pints of blood||X||X||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X||X|
|Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment||X||X||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X||X|
|Skilled Nursing Facility care coinsurance||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||X||X|
|Medicare Part A deductible||X||X||X||X||X||50%||75%||50%||X|
|Medicare Part B deductible||X||X|
|Medicare Part B excess charges||X||X|
|Foreign travel emergency coverage (up to plan limits)||80%||80%||80%||80%||80%||80%|
|Medicare Part B preventive care coinsurance||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Out-of-pocket limits apply|
In general, Medicare Supplement Plan F is considered to be the most comprehensive plan, covering almost 100% of Medicare-associated costs, excluding the Medicare Part B premium.
Also note that Medicare Supplement Plan N pays 100% of the Medicare Part B coinsurance, but the same plan does not cover up to $20 copayment on some office visits and up to $50 copayment on emergency room visits.
And be aware that Medicare Supplement Plan K and Plan L have out-of-pocket limits that are subject to change each year.
Medicare Supplement plans in Montana with the same letter designation don’t vary in coverage or benefits, as explained above. However, each independent insurance company that offers Medicare Supplement plans can determine its own monthly premium structure. This means that if you live in Butte in Silver Bow County, you may pay more or less than a resident of Missoula in Missoula County for an identical Medicare Supplement plan. Considering the possible differences in costs, it may be smart to compare all Medicare Supplement plans available in your area to choose the Medicare Supplement plan in Montana that provides the best fit for your individual needs.
For more information about Medicare in Montana, see the following pages:
Medicare Supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program.