SENIOR ARTICLE – October 2019

HOW MEDICARE CHANGES IN 2020 WILL IMPACT BENEFICIARIES

There are many changes in Medicare 2020. These changes will impact all current & future Medicare beneficiaries. Below are the changes to keep your informed.

Medicare Changes in 2020: Starting in 2020, there will be no more first-dollar coverage plans available to those who are considered Medicare eligible after 2020. First-dollar coverage plans are Medicare Supplement Plans that leave you with zero out of pocket costs. The Medicare Part B premium will also increase.

The Three Medicare Supplement Plans considered first-dollar coverage plans are:
Plan C
Plan F
High Deductible Plan F

Why First-Dollar Coverage Plans are Being Discontinued: The reasons is some members of Congress believing Medicare beneficiaries are over-using healthcare services. With no out of pocket costs, playing it safe was priceless. By making everyone meet the Medicare Part B deductible, legislators hope to prevent beneficiaries from running to the doctor for every minor ailment. Lots of debate on this issue!

How Medicare Changes in 2020 Will Impact Beneficiaries: These changes will Only impact beneficiaries who are NOT considered “Medicare-eligible until after 2020. As long as you turned 65 prior to 1 January, 2020, you can continue to enroll in these First-Dollar coverage plans after they have been discontinued. These are being discontinued to those who are not considered Medicare Eligible until AFTER 2020. For those enrolled in a First-Dollar coverage plan, you are “GRANDFATHERED” in. You DO NOT need to make any changes to your coverage unless you are simple comparing benefits and/or rates to see if there is a better plan for you – such as: health needs have increased or less health care than previously needed. Again, as long as you are Medicare-eligible BEFORE 2020, you can still sign up for the First-Dollar coverage plan after they’re discontinued!

For Those “Medicare-Eligible” After 2020: For beneficiaries that are NOT eligible for Medicare until after 2020, you still have alternatives that will keep yours out of pocket costs LOW! The only different between the alternative plans listed below and First-Dollar coverage plans is the Part B Deductible, which is $185 as of 2019.

Alternatives to First-Dollar Coverage Plans: One alternative to Plan C is Plan N. Plan N is considered a cost-sharing plan. You pay a Co-pay of up to $20 for doctor visits and up to $50 in the emergency room. One good thing about Plan N is if you go to Urgent Care, vs your primary care physician or emergency room, there is NO Co-Pay!

Another Alternative to Plan C is Plan D. Plan D offers the same protection as Plan C, with the Exception of covering the Part B deductible. If you do not want the Co-Pays that come with Plan N, then Plan D is the way to go. Neither Plan D or Plan N covers excess charges. If you want coverage for Excess charges, you would go with Plan G. An Alternative to Plan F is Plan G. Aside from the Part B deductible, Plan G is the exact same plan like Plan F. Plan G is a good bet!! If you want the fullest possible coverage. Once you meet the annual Part B deductible, you should not have any further expenses for services covered by Medicare. Plan N is a good choice if you’re looking to same money on Premiums, pay a small Co-Pay, and are not concerned about excess charges. EXCESS CHARGES AREN’T ALLOWED in some states, and even where permitted, not all providers charge them. In fact, only 3% of providers charge excess charges.

Projected Medicare Premiums for 2020: As of now, it looks like the 2020 Medicare Part B premium will be $144.30. That’s an increase of $8.80 from 2019. The Part B deductible is projected to increase from $185 to $197 in 2020. The Part A deductible is projected to increase from $1,364 to $1,410 in 2020.

Veterans/Spouses: Tricare For Life is Medicare wraparound coverage for Tricare beneficiaries. You are eligible for Tricare For Life if you are entitled to Medicare Part A & Part B, regardless of your age…in other overseas locations, Tricare For Life is the primary payer. Remember: Tricare For Life pays AFTER Medicare and OHI for Tricare-covered health care services.

Speak to a Licensed Agent Today: Official today, 15 October is the Open Enrollment Period until 7 December 2019.

Still confused? I highly suggest going to www.medicare.gov and/or call your current agent or a Medicare Specialist. If anyone needs a Medicare Specialist, feel free to contact me and I will refer some Medicare Specialists for you to contact. No cost – and will help you with your current health care needs. Plan for 2020 – DO NOT WAIT… Also, contact Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) as they have trained specialist who can assist.

*article from Medicare – General Information
Brenda Dever-Armstrong, CEO/CSA
The Next Horizon Seniors & Military Advocate/Resources
Bus. Ph: 210-275-3002