Tips for Medicare Open Enrollment

by | Oct 19, 2020 | Wealth Management

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As of October 15th Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their Medicare benefits. This is the time to review your current benefits and make any changes. If you are unhappy with your current plan or perhaps your health has changed during the past year, now is the time to make any necessary changes like switching Medicare health and prescription drug plans. Each year, Medicare plan costs and coverage typically change so if for no other reason it is important to review your benefits to understand any changes to your current plans.

From October 15 – December 17 you can:

  • Join a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D);
  • Switch from one Part D plan to another Part D plan;
  • Drop your Part D coverage altogether;
  • Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan;
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare;
  • Change from one Medicare Advantage plan to a different Medicare Advantage plan;
  • Change from a Medicare Advantage plan that offers prescription drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage plan that doesn’t offer prescription drug coverage; or
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan that doesn’t offer prescription drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage plan that does offer prescription drug coverage.

Keep in mind any changes do not take effect until January 1st, 2021.

Medicare Part B (hospital insurance) premium and deductible costs capped for 2021

A provision of the recent spending bill passed during COVID limits Medicare Part B premium and deductible increases to 25% of what they would normally be. In April, the Medicare Trustees expected a 6% increase of the Part B premium but we will not know the true numbers until later this month or early November as this is when costs for the next year are announced. 

New and expanded benefits for 2021

  • Medicare Advantage plan will offer expanded telehealth and other virtual services.
  • Medicare-eligible individuals with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan with benefits starting January 1, 2021.
  • Medicare now covers 12 acupuncture visits in 90 days for lower back pain.
  • Now you can join a drug plan that offers lower costs for insulin. The copay is $35 for a 30 day supply.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to speak with your adviser or contact us at financialplanning@bfsg.com.

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