As you or your spouse approach age 65 and Medicare eligibility, you may wonder what will happen with your health coverage. The good news is, as an MMIA Plan participant, you have options! Click on the "MMIA-Sponsored Medicare Advantage Plans" and/or "Other Options" tabs below for more information.
If you are an active employee when you turn 65, it is your responsibility to sign up for Medicare Part A and send your city or town representative a copy of your Medicare card. Because you have a group health plan, you may be able to wait to sign up for Part B until you retire without a penalty. Contact a Medicare expert to learn more. As long as you remain an active employee on an MMIA Health Plan, MMIA will continue to pay as your primary insurer.
As you are thinking about retirement, please note that as of January 1, 2024, Medicare retirees are no longer eligible to remain on an MMIA medical plan. They may remain enrolled in the MMIA dental and vision plans if your city or town offers those plans.
For Medicare retirees age 65 and over, we can no longer provide discounted rates due to increasing claims costs. This means retirees or their spouses that are Medicare-eligible will have a substantial rate increase in addition to the final medical rate adjustment beginning July 1, 2023.
The MMIA Board of Directors has also made the decision to terminate medical coverage for retirees on the plan once they are Medicare-eligible, as of January 1, 2024. Medicare retirees may remain on the dental and vision coverages. Retirees and spouses of Medicare retirees that are not yet Medicare-eligible can remain on the medical plans, until they become Medicare-eligible after January 1, 2024.
MMIA plans are designed mainly to function as primary coverage and may not coordinate with Medicare in the most efficient way. This may mean you pay a higher monthly premium and more out-of-pocket for services than if you had a Medicare Advantage or supplement plan, which are specifically designed to coordinate with Medicare. See the "Other Options" tab below for alternative medical plan options.
In order to offer retirees other options that may better compliment Medicare coverage, MMIA sponsors a menu of Medicare Advantage Plans through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana. These plans:
- Have much lower monthly premiums than having an MMIA Plan as secondary insurance;
- Are designed to coordinate with Medicare;
- Start paying right after Medicare so you don’t have to meet a deductible;
- Include prescription coverage that fills in the costly prescription “donut hole” left by many other Advantage plans and supplements on the market; and,
- Have options to include low-cost dental, vision, and hearing aid coverage.
For more information about the MMIA-sponsored Group Medicare Advantage Plans, contact Wendy Nelson at 406-969-3000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The MMIA-sponsored Medicare Advantage Plan is just one of many options. Retirees may also consider contacting a certified insurance agent who specializes in Medicare to ask about other Medicare Advantage and supplement options, or contact Wendy Nelson at 406-969-3000, email@example.com.
Additionally, the Montana State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) provides no-cost health benefits counseling and advocacy service for Medicare beneficiaries and their families or caregivers. You can visit their website or contact your local SHIP Counselor at 1-800-551-3191.
If you leave an MMIA Medical, Dental or Vision Plan as a retiree, you cannot come back. However, once you leave the MMIA Employee Benefit Plan for a Medicare supplement or Advantage Plan, your non-Medicare spouse can stay on the MMIA Plan. Also, when your spouse becomes a Medicare-eligible retiree, currently enrolled in an MMIA plan or any other plan, he/she may join the MMIA-sponsored Group Medicare Advantage Plan.
If you are currently on an MMIA Dental and/or Vision Plan, you can continue that coverage when you become Medicare-eligible.
To make a change to your current MMIA benefits, fill out the appropriate enrollment (change or termination) form through our forms page. If you have questions, call us at 800-635-3089 option 4 or contact your city or town representative.