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Montana Medicare Patients

It’s time to think about your Medicare options

Consider Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by private insurance companies. Medicare Advantage plans offer the same rights and protections and, at a minimum, the same benefits as original Medicare and often include prescription drug coverage in their benefits package.

Frequently Asked Questions about Medicare Advantage
Use our Medicare Enrollment Checklist

Providence accepts a variety of Medicare insurance plans, including original Medicare, Medicare supplements and Medicare Advantage. The Medicare Annual Election Period runs from October 15 - December 7, 2016. If you are 65 or older, this is the time you can change your Medicare plan, enroll in a new plan, and add or drop Medicare Part D prescription coverage.

Medicare Advantage at Providence Medical Group in Western Montana

For 2017, our clinics are contracted with the following Medicare Advantage plans* in Montana:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana
  • Humana

Independent agent:

  • Anderson and Hellman: (406) 829-2731

Resources to help you understand your options

We understand how complex and confusing Medicare can be. As always, you also may contact plans directly, work with any licensed independent insurance agent or obtain information by going directly to Medicare (1-800-MEDICARE or www.medicare.gov). 

Frequently Asked Questions about Medicare Advantage

What is a Medicare Advantage Plan?

Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by private insurance companies. Medicare Advantage plans offer the same rights and protections and, at a minimum, the same benefits as original Medicare offers. Often they include prescription drug coverage in their benefits package.

Why Choose a Medicare Advantage Plan?

There are a variety of benefits to enrolling in Medicare Advantage. For example, Medicare Advantage plans often:

  • Offer additional services, such as prescription drug coverage, vision, dental, hearing, memberships to health and wellness programs, and other benefits not provided by traditional Medicare
  • Focus on wellness and improved health outcomes
  • Have defined annual out-of-pocket limits for medical care
  • In all cases, eliminate the need for Medicare supplemental (or Medigap) plans, which typically cover “gaps” in original Medicare, such as co-payments and deductibles

Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative to original Medicare coverage. They include all the benefits of original Medicare with additional benefits.

Who Can Join a Medicare Advantage Plan?

If you are enrolled in original Medicare, you can join a Medicare Advantage plan offered in your service area, even if you have a pre-existing condition, except for end-stage renal disease (ESRD). If you are turning 65, you have a seven-month window to join, starting three months before your birth month.

What Happens to My Supplemental Coverage If I Choose Medicare Advantage?

If you have a supplemental policy and join a Medicare Advantage Plan you may want to contact your insurer to see if you should drop your supplemental policy. Supplemental policies can’t be used to pay Medicare Advantage plan copayments, deductibles or premiums. If you already have a Medicare Advantage plan, you do not need a supplemental policy, and no one should sell you one.

When Can I Join or Change My Medicare Advantage Plan?

Medicare Advantage plans are governed by the same enrollment regulations as original Medicare. In most cases, people join a plan during open enrollment in the fall and are enrolled in a plan for the calendar year. If you are turning 65, you have a seven-month window that starts three months before your birth month.  

Medicare Checklist

Use this checklist to get ready for enrollment.

Turning 65?

  • 7 to 9 months before your 65th birthday
    • Contact Social Security Administration to confirm your Medicare eligibility benefits: 1-800-772-1213.
    • Review your current health insurance coverage to see what happens after you turn 65.
  • 4 to 6 months before your 65th birthday
    • Check with your provider to see if he or she accepts the Medicare plan you are considering. Visit our website for a complete list of plans in your area.
  • 1 to 3 months before your 65th birthday
    • Enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B.
    • Consider Medicare Advantage.

Age 66 and older?

  • Get ready for open enrollment in the fall.
  • Consider Medicare Advantage.
  • Check with your provider to see if he or she accepts the Medicare plan you are considering. Visit our website for a complete list of plans in your area.

Learn More

Free information in available from Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE, or visit www.medicare.gov , click on the button "Sign Up/Change Plans" and select "About Medicare Health Plans."

To enroll in Medicare Advantage, contact the plans directly or work with any licensed Medicare agent.