Medicare Supplements in Maine are a little different than in other states. While the plans are still the same standardized options, there are a few rules that make Maine unique. Below, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about Medicare, Medigap, and other options in Maine.
Maine Medicare Supplement Plans
The best part about Medigap insurance is that the plans offer consistent coverage year to year. You’ll always know what to expect because there are no changes.
In Maine, Medigap plans follow a community rating method, so a 65-year-old will pay the same amount as a 75-year-old as long as they’re on the same policy. Same with those under 65, the policy costs the same as long as it’s the same company and plan.
Further, in Maine, if you buy Medigap when you turn 65, you can change your Medigap plan to another policy of equal or lesser value without waiting for a Medicare enrollment period. But you must enroll in the new policy within 90 days of leaving the old one.
Like most states, the best time to sign up for Medigap is during your 6-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period. Once you miss this enrollment opportunity, you won’t get it back. Although, if your Medicare plan leaves the service area, you may be entitled to Guaranteed Issue Rights.
A Glimpse at Medigap Premiums in Maine
Since Medicare Supplement plans are community rated in Maine, Medigap is more expensive for people turning 65 than in other areas. But, long term, those costs even out.
Someone in their 70’s could pay much less in Maine than someone in another state that isn’t community rated. Further, those under 65 will pay much less in Maine than in other states that offer Medigap plans to those on disability.
Now, if you’re comfortable with some copayments, Plan N could be a good option for you. The cost of Plan N in Maine is only $180 month.
Since you can change plans in Maine of equal or lesser value anytime, enrolling in a high deductible plan wouldn’t be our recommendation, only because you can’t enroll in another plan without going through underwriting.
But, if you’re comfortable paying a high deductible and don’t mind that deductible going up each year, then this option may work for you. High Deductible Plan G is only $60 a month. Although, you’ll pay much more when you do need care, in comparison to the other plan options.
When you select Advantage coverage, paying your Part B premium is still necessary.
In more rural areas, Medicare Advantage plans are less prevalent.
You can choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan as soon as your eligible for Medicare or during the Annual Enrollment Period.
Then, if you decide you want to change your policy during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, you can make a one time change.
Those considering an Advantage plan should be prepared to re-evaluate coverage each year since the plan will change annually.
The plans usually include things like basic dental, vision, hearing, and sometimes a gym membership. But, the benefits aren’t as comprehensive as many believe.
Although, many times, there are Medicare Advantage Part D plans available that give you coverage for both medical and prescription services.
But, Advantage plans have limitations such as doctor networks, prior authorization requirements, and doctor referrals. Yet, Medigap policies will give beneficiaries more freedom and more security.
You can’t have an Advantage policy and supplement coverage at the same time. If you enroll in an Advantage plan, the Medigap plan will no longer supplement benefits.
Make sure to compare Medigap vs. Medicare Advantage side by side before making a decision that you can’t undo.
Medicare Part D Plans in Maine
There are 26 Medicare Part D Plans in the state of Maine. If you have a Medicare Supplement, you’ll need a stand-alone Part D Plan.
The lowest premium Part D Plan is the Humana Walmart plan, which costs a little over $13 a month.
But, plans can cost up to $85 a month. The best plan for you is the one that brings you the most value.
You need a policy that includes all the medications you take on the formulary.
And, since plans change annually, you’ll want to compare your options each year to ensure the coverage you have is still the best option for next year.
So, for some people, paying a higher premium and having no deductible makes the most sense.
For those that don’t have any medications, a cheap policy will at least prevent the Part D penalty.
Just like Part C, you can only change Part D Plans once a year- during the Annual Enrollment Period.
Although, when you first become eligible, you can sign up during the Medicare Advantage Initial Enrollment Period.
If you miss the Initial Enrollment Period, you’ll likely pay the Part D Penalty.
But, if you lose creditable coverage through no fault of your own, a Special Enrollment Period will allow you to find new coverage.
Understanding all of your options can seem overwhelming; one of our agents can help you identify the policy option that brings you the most value.
How to Sign Up for Medicare Supplement Plans in Maine
Don’t delay enrollment. Waiting could result in ineligibility. Once you miss your enrollment period, selecting a plan becomes much more difficult.
But, even if you want to change Medigap coverage or enroll after your enrollment period, we can help you find the company most likely to approve your application.
Call us today at the number above and discover the best plan options for your needs. You can also fill out the online rate form to see our rates now!