Life's only constant is change. Changes in Medicare coverage are no exception, unfortunately. The system is being tweaked this year, with major cost-related adjustments planned in 2021. Not only will plan details change, but your monthly rates will likely rise as well. Examine the following options and strategies that are saving individuals thousands of dollars:
Enrollment is now open.
This year's Medicare open enrollment will take place between October 15, 2020 and December 7, 2020. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you can make adjustments now or during the annual Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, which runs from January 1 through March 31.
While it's necessary to review your coverage every year, it's especially crucial as we approach 2021, given the projected price hikes in several aspects of Medicare. You can always do nothing and your coverage will remain the same, but this year might not be the year to do so.
It's possible that there's nothing you can do to prevent a price hike, but it never hurts to check. At the very least, you might be able to make a Medicare adjustment that offsets the cost rise in another area.
Reviewing your coverage on a regular basis can help you save money. According to the National Council on Aging, a typical Medicare participant can save $300 per year by just making changes to their Part D prescription medication plan. However, 2021 appears to be a year in which whatever cost savings you achieve will likely be negated by price rises. Premium rises aren't the only thing that might hurt your wallet.
If your existing doctor or drugstore leaves your current plan's "network," your rates will almost certainly rise. You can, however, switch to a plan that includes the same providers as “in-network.” You must make these adjustments within Medicare's open enrollment period, or you will be charged a cost if you request them outside of that time frame.
Medicare Price Changes in 2021
First, some positive news: Medicare Advantage plans will be expanded and prices will be reduced.
According to Forbes, a greater percentage of Medicare beneficiaries will be able to take use of the services and assistance that Medicare Advantage has to offer. These services include non-medical transportation and in-home care. Medicare Advantage premiums are expected to drop by only a few bucks. It's not a huge sum, but it's better than the all-too-common price hikes.
Then there's the bad news. The cost of living is increasing. Also, be prepared to be perplexed. Fortunately, the materials on this page will assist you in putting everything together. Check out these alternatives and plans that can save you hundreds of dollars:
2021 Changes to Medicare: Key Takeaways
A congressional spending bill has put a cap on the usual Part B premium rise for 2021.
The Part B deductible will almost certainly rise beyond $198 in 2021, and will be slightly higher in 2022.
In 2021, Part A rates, deductibles, and coinsurance will all be increased.
Newly eligible Medicare enrollees are no longer able to purchase Medigap Plans C and F.
The high-income premium adjustment income levels for Medicare Part B and D are expected to begin at $88,000 for a single person in 2021, and the high-income surcharges for Part D and Part B will rise.
The number of people enrolled in Medicare Advantage is estimated to rise to 26 million by 2020.
For 2021, the maximum out-of-pocket limit for Medicare Advantage plans will rise to $7,550.
The Part D donut hole is no longer in effect, but the maximum deductible on a regular plan will rise to $445 in 2021, and the threshold for entering the catastrophic coverage phase (where out-of-pocket spending is greatly reduced) will rise to $6,550.
To keep things simple, in 2021, rates, deductibles, and coinsurance for Medicare Part A plans will all rise. Medicare Part B rates and deductibles are likely to rise. You must enrol in Parts A and B and pay the Part B monthly cost regardless of whether you have a Medicare Supplement or a Medicare Advantage plan.
Prepare to pay more for Medicare in 2021 in some way. Part B hikes, on the other hand, are linked to income, with higher-income Medicare beneficiaries paying a bigger price increase. The majority of seniors do not have to pay a Part A premium. However, there is one catch: if you or your spouse haven't worked for 40 quarters or more, you'll have to pay a premium that will rise in 2021. You should anticipate to spend more in premiums and see a bigger increase in your premium from 2020 to 2021 if you have fewer work quarters under your belt.
You can access resources to help you make sense of it all on this page. You can get a head start on how the cost hikes in Medicare in 2021 will affect you. (To save money, seek for the best selections and plans.)