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What you need to know about Medicare Changes

What you need to know about Medicare Changes

| February 11, 2020

When I started my second career as a financial advisor many years ago, my main interest was helping the baby boomers with the decisions they inevitably will have to make as they age. It's my passion! There are a few changes to Medicare and Medicare supplements as well as Plan D prescription plans that I feel are necessary to communicate with you. These changes mostly apply to new filers, but there are some changes that will affect people that are already on Medicare. Hopefully, the following information will help you with any decisions you need to make or just have on hand for the information alone. Please look it over and know that if you have any questions or would like an in-depth discussion, I am here for you. Medicare and it’s supplemental plans can be confusing and tricky to navigate at times, so we just want you to know that we are a resource you can tap into at anytime to help you through it all. So, let’s get started.

The Highlights:

Change seems to be a constant. When in comes to Medicare in 2020, here are the major changes:

  • Part A premium will be $458, although many people will still qualify for free coverage.
  • Part B premium is increasing to $144.60, total.
  • The Part B deductible is changing to $198
  • If you became eligible after January 1st, 2020, Plans F and C are no longer available.
  • The infamous "Donut Hole" will start closing in 2020

Why are Changes Coming to Medicare in 2020?

It always seems to come down to money, doesn’t it? The changes that are going into effect now are no different. For example, people enrolling this year will no longer be allowed to have a Medigap plan that covers their Part B deductible. The argument here is that if people have some “skin in the game,” (i.e. the $198 deductible,) they’ll be more likely to only go to the doctor when needed. This, in theory, will save money for the Medicare system.

Can I Keep Medigap Plan F, Plan F High-Deductible, or Plan C?

Yes! If you were enrolled in part A prior to 2020, and have a Med Sup plan F, F high-deductible, or Plan C, you can keep it! In fact, as long as you were enrolled in plan A prior to the cut-off of Jan 1st, 2020, you can apply for these plans.

How do you know if you’re eligible? You’ll find the Part A start date on your Medicare Insurance Card. Or, you can always just give me a call.

What Medigap plan gives me the most coverage?

With these recent changes, I believe Plan G will provide the most coverage to supplement parts A and B. You’ll still have to pay the part B deductible, but after that, you won’t have any other out of pocket costs for Medicare approved care.


High-Deductible Plan G? What’s that?

New for 2020 is a Supplement Plan called Plan G High-Deductible. The 2020 deductible is $2,340. Once that is reached, your plan will cover the costs above this amount for you. Everything is a give and take. Because this deductible is higher, the plan’s premiums are significantly lower.

This may be a great option for you if you:

  • Are in good health
  • Can afford the higher deductible
  • You prefer more control over your premium costs

Am I eligible for High Deductible Plan G?

Yes. Everyone is. Unlike Plan F, your Medicare enrollment date does not apply to plan G. You can even change to Plan G if you’re currently on a different supplemental plan. The rules are a little tricky here. I recommend you talk to a professional for some more guidance, as it depends on which plan you’re currently enrolled in.

The Donut Hole in Medicare Supplement Part D is Closing

The Donut Hole, which is the name given to the part of your Part D plan that has higher costs, is starting to close in 2020. This is definitely a win for the people. As this change is implemented, the amount you pay out of pocket for prescription drugs will decrease by as much as half. Again, I don’t want to overwhelm you with details. If you have specific questions, we can chat whenever you like.