Medicare plans in Montana offer a range of coverage options. Whether you want basic coverage through original Medicare or a more comprehensive Medicare Advantage plan, Medicare Montana provides access to healthcare services in the state.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported the following information on Medicare trends in Montana for the 2021 plan year:
- A total of 237,162 residents of Montana are enrolled in Medicare.
- The average Medicare Advantage monthly premium decreased in Montana compared to last year — from $48.58 in 2020 to $42.42 in 2021.
- There are 19 Medicare Advantage plans available in Montana for 2021, compared to 15 plans in 2020.
- All Montana residents with Medicare have access to buy a Medicare Advantage plan, including plans with $0 premiums.
- There are 12 different Medigap plans offered in Montana for 2021.
Medicare Montana is a health insurance program funded by the government. It provides healthcare coverage for people age 65 and older and those who have certain chronic illnesses or a disability.
There are several parts in Medicare, and understanding these parts will help you choose the right Medicare plan in Montana.
Part A covers services including:
- inpatient hospital care
- hospice care
- limited coverage for skilled nursing facility care
- some part-time home healthcare
Part B covers items such as:
- outpatient hospital care and surgeries
- health screenings for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer
- blood work
- most physician visits
- ambulance services
Medicare Advantage in Montana
Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans are offered through private insurance companies rather than the government. This means you’ll have a lot more options in terms of covered services and how much you’ll pay for them.
Medicare Advantage plans in Montana may cover:
- all hospital and medical services covered by original Medicare parts A and B
- prescription drugs
- dental, vision, and hearing care
- fitness memberships
- some medical transportation services
Medicare Advantage plans are offered by a number of health insurance carriers based on your location. These plans are tailored to meet the healthcare needs of the area, so be sure you’re searching for plans available in your ZIP code.
These are some of the health insurance providers that currently offer Medicare Advantage plans in Montana:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana of Montana
- Lasso Healthcare
- PacificSource Medicare
Medicare supplement plans in Montana
Medicare supplement (Medigap) plans help cover the gaps in original Medicare coverage. These costs might include copays and coinsurance, as well as coverage for services that original Medicare doesn’t cover at all. You can purchase these plans in addition to having parts A and B.
Many companies offer Medigap plans in Montana. In 2021, some of the companies offering Medigap plans throughout the state include:
Medicare plans in Montana benefit people when they turn 65 years old and those with certain chronic conditions or a disability. Many individuals are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A through Social Security.
At age 65, you can also elect to enroll in Part B, Part D, or a Medicare Advantage plan. To be eligible for Medicare plans in Montana you must be:
- age 65 or older
- a permanent resident of Montana
- a U.S. citizen
Adults under 65 may also qualify for Medicare coverage. If you have a disability or a chronic illness such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or end stage renal disease (ESRD), you may qualify for Medicare. Also, if you’ve been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for 24 months, you’ll qualify for Medicare in Montana as well.
When can I enroll in Medicare Montana plans?
Whether or not you were automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A, you’ll qualify for an initial enrollment period (IEP) when you turn age 65. You can begin the enrollment process 3 months before your birthday, and the IEP will extend another 3 months after your birthday. However, if you enroll after your birthday, coverage start dates will be delayed.
Medicare plans change every year, so you may want to reevaluate your coverage from time to time. Medicare Advantage open enrollment period is from January 1 to March 31.
If you’ve recently lost employer coverage, moved out of the coverage area, or qualified for Medicare Montana due to a disability, you can apply for a special enrollment period to apply for Medicare or make changes to your coverage.
Tips for Enrolling in Medicare in Montana
There’s a lot to consider when comparing Medicare plans in Montana, but with a bit of time and research, you can feel confident in your decision. Here are few tips to help you choose a plan that meets your needs:
- Write down all your healthcare needs. Are these needs covered by original Medicare? If not, look for Medicare Advantage plans in Montana that provide the coverage you need, and are still within your budget.
- Write down all your medications. Each drug plan and Advantage plan covers different medications, so make sure you find a plan that will offer appropriate prescription drug coverage.
- Know to which insurance network your doctor belongs. Each private insurance carrier works with in-network providers, so make sure your doctor is approved by the plan you’re considering.
You can find out more about Medicare Montana, or access additional resources, by contacting:
Medicare (800-633-4227). You can call Medicare for more information about plans offered, and for more tips on comparing Advantage Plans in your county.
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Senior and Long-Term Care Division (406-444-4077). Find information about the SHIP assistance program, community services, and home care options.
Commissioner of Securities and Insurance (800-332-6148). Get Medicare support, find out more about enrollment periods, or receive in-person assistance.
- More than 200,000 Montana residents are enrolled in Medicare.
- There are several private insurance companies offering various types of Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans throughout the state.
- Overall, monthly premium costs have decreased for 2021 Medicare Advantage plans in Montana.
- There are also several Medigap plan options if you live in Montana and are looking for additional coverage.
As you research your plan options, carefully evaluate your current healthcare needs and budget to make sure the plans you’re considering will maintain or improve your quality of life.