Medicare Plans in Idaho in 2022
Signing up for Medicare can be confusing, especially when taking into account all of the variables that can impact your enrollment. Plan availability depends on so many factors, one of the most important being where you live.
Being aware of your state-specific Medicare rights can help you to find the best plan options possible. That’s why it’s so important to have a good understanding of the nuances of Medicare in your state. Read on to learn more about your Medigap, Medicare Advantage, and Part D options in Idaho.
How To Apply for Original Medicare in Idaho
If you are an Idaho resident who is only interested in enrolling in Original Medicare, you can do so through your local Social Security office. You can sign up in-person, online, or over the phone as early as three months before your 65th birthday.
However, if you want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Part D drug coverage, we recommend contacting a licensed insurance agent. They can walk you through the process and help you to find the right plan for you.
Reach out to an experienced insurance agent here at Medicare Plans Direct today to have all of your Medicare-related questions answered.
Medicare Supplement Plans in Idaho
Which Medigap plans are available to you in Idaho will depend on a number of factors, such as which insurance company you enroll with and where you reside.
There were 92,403 Idaho residents enrolled in Medicare Supplement Insurance in 2019. This figure represented over a quarter (27.9%) of all Medicare enrollees in the state that year.
The most popular Medigap plans in Idaho include Plans F, G, and N. These plans offer some of the most comprehensive coverage around.
However, beneficiaries who first became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020 will no longer be allowed to enroll in Plan F. Plans G and N are good alternatives.
Medigap Enrollment in Idaho
If you are interested in enrolling in Medigap insurance in Idaho, the best time to do so is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period (OEP).
This occurs when you first become eligible for Medicare and enroll in Part B, and it lasts for 6 months. During this time, you can enroll in any Medigap plan offered in your area regardless of your health history.
Unless you qualify for a guaranteed issue right, you may have to undergo medical underwriting if you want to sign up for a Medigap plan after your OEP finalizes. In this case, insurance companies reserve the right to deny you coverage and/or charge you higher rates.
Examples of guaranteed issue rights in Idaho include moving out of your Medicare Advantage plan’s coverage area, a change in retiree benefits, and losing your employer coverage.
You should be aware that Medigap insurers in Idaho can implement pre-existing condition waiting periods. This means that your insurance company can delay coverage for your condition for up to six months when you first enroll in your Medigap plan.
These waiting periods apply to conditions that are diagnosed or treated (or for which treatment was recommended) during the six months before your policy comes into effect. Having prior creditable coverage can alleviate this coverage restriction and shorten your waiting period.
Idaho Medigap Birthday Rule
As of March 1, 2022, Idaho provides a special Medicare Supplement enrollment period to beneficiaries who are already enrolled in a Medigap plan.
In most states, unless you qualify for a guaranteed issue right, you usually have to undergo medical underwriting if you want to modify your Medigap coverage after your OEP finalizes. In this case, insurance companies reserve the right to deny you coverage or charge you a higher premium.
However, the state of Idaho offers people an annual opportunity to modify their Medigap coverage. If a person already has Medicare Supplement Insurance, they can change plans once a year during a 63 day enrollment period that starts on their birthday.
This Idaho “Birthday Rule” permits Medigap enrollees to make changes to their Medigap coverage on a guaranteed issue basis, meaning that they won’t have to undergo medical underwriting.
Medigap in Idaho for Disability Enrollees
Idaho law states that beneficiaries under the age of 65 who qualify for Medicare because of a disability are guaranteed the right to enroll in any Medicare Supplement plan they would like. Insurance companies are permitted to charge these individuals higher premiums than they would charge enrollees aged 65 and older, but rates can not exceed 150% of what a premium would be for a 65+ Medicare beneficiary.
People who qualify for Medicare before they turn 65 can sign up for Medigap insurance during the first six months that they are enrolled in Medicare Part B. These individuals will have another OEP during the six months following their 65th birthday. When this happens, insurance companies must adjust their premium to the 65+ rate, even if they choose to remain with the same plan.
Medigap Premiums in Idaho
As of 2021, there were 41 insurance companies that offered Medicare Supplement Insurance in Idaho. Historically, Idaho state law prohibited Medigap providers from using attained-age rating (this rule was implemented in 1995). Therefore, premiums could be based on issue-age or community rating.
However, starting with plans that are sold on or after March 1, 2022, insurance companies will only be allowed to use a community rating system.
When it comes to community-rated plans, premium rates are typically the same for everyone in your area.
Though Medigap plans’ benefits are federally standardized, premium rates can vary significantly between insurance companies. For that reason, we always recommend consulting with an experienced insurance agent before deciding on a Medicare Supplement policy to ensure that you are getting the best value plan for you.
Medicare Advantage Plans in Idaho
Another coverage option for people looking for more benefits than those offered by Original Medicare is Medicare Advantage. Also known as Part C, these plans include the coverage that you get under Original Medicare on top of additional benefits, such as drug coverage, hearing coverage, vision coverage, dental coverage, and more.
Over a third (39.4%) of Idaho Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan in 2021. In 2022, there are 80 Medicare Advantage plans available in Idaho. This is up from 75 plans in 2021.
95% of Idaho Medicare beneficiaries have access to at least one Medicare Advantage plan in 2022. However, which Idaho Medicare Advantage plans you have available to you depends on where exactly you reside, as plan availability varies from county to county.
Idaho Medicare enrollees who live in Ada County or Canyon County can choose between 49 Medicare Advantage plans in 2022, while residents of smaller counties like Benewah and Clearwater only have 2 plans available to them.
When it comes to monthly premiums, what you pay for your Medicare Advantage plan depends on where you live, the plan that you choose, and more. In 2022, the average Part C monthly premium in Idaho is $28.59. 94% Medicare enrollees in the state have access to at least one plan with a $0 monthly premium.
Deciding which is the right Medicare Advantage plan for you is best done with the help of an experienced insurance agent. Here at Medicare Plans Direct we help you make the best Medicare choices possible at no extra cost to you. Reach out today to receive free Medicare advice.
Medicare Part D in Idaho
Another thing for Idaho Medicare beneficiaries to keep in mind is their Part D prescription drug plan options. In 2022, there are 22 stand-alone drug plans available to Idaho Medicare enrollees.
How much you will have to pay for your Part D premium depends on where you live and which insurance company you purchase your plan through. In 2022, the average Part D premium in Idaho is $48.91.
You can also find Medicare prescription drug plans with $0 deductibles, though insurance companies usually charge higher monthly premiums for these plans. In 2022, there are four no-deductible plans available to Idaho residents, and the lowest-cost stand-alone drug plan with a $0 deductible has a monthly premium of $62.
It is typically a good idea to enroll in prescription drug coverage when you are first eligible if you foresee it being necessary in the future. If you don’t sign up for Medicare Part D when you first qualify and don’t have some other form of creditable drug coverage, you could face late enrollment penalty fees down the line.
Some Medicare Advantage plans come with coverage for your prescription drugs, but if you are enrolled in Original Medicare and/or a Medigap policy, you will need a stand-alone drug plan to cover your prescription medication costs.
As you can see, it is important to understand the ins and outs of Medicare coverage when choosing a plan. Here at Medicare Plans Direct, we help seniors through the process of enrolling in Medicare. Reach out today for a free consultation with a licensed insurance agent.