Medicare typically makes changes to its costs and coverage from year to year. Here’s what’s new with Medicare 2021.
How much Medicare costs ?
In fact, you can expect to pay monthly premiums, deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. Medicare costs such as premiums and deductibles generally change each year due to inflation and other factors.
[ What Is Medicare ]
Most Medicare beneficiaries qualify for premium-free Part A by the time they turn 65. However, those who don’t pay a monthly premium of $471 or $259 in 2021. On the other hand, most beneficiaries pay a monthly premium for Part B. In 2021, the Part B base premium is $148.50. Higher earners may pay more than the base premium.
Both Part A and Part B have deductibles as well. The Part A deductible is per benefit period, while the Part B deductible is per year, meaning you’ll never pay the Part B deductible more than once per year, but may pay the Part A deductible multiple times a year. In 2021, the Part A and Part B deductibles are $1,484 and $203, respectively.
Medicare Advantage plans’ health question
One advantage with Medicare Advantage plans is the fact that there is only one health question. Do you have end-stage renal disease? While you can skip underwriting for Medigap plans during your Medigap Open Enrollment period, you’ll likely have to answer a slew of health questions.
Therefore, the single health question Medicare 2021 Advantage plans have can be an attractive feature for those who can’t pass underwriting for Medigap plans. In 2021 making Medicare Advantage plans a possibility for those with end-stage renal disease for the first time.
Medigap plan options
There are eight standard Medigap plan eligible for Medicare in 2021. If you became eligible for Medicare prior to 2020, however, you are eligible for 10 different Medigap plans: Plan A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, N, and High-Deductible Plan F (HDF).
Newly eligible beneficiaries in 2021 have all the same options except for Plan C and Plan F, and the high deductible option for these beneficiaries is High-Deductible Plan G (HDG).
Part D insulin savings
In 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new Part D program that took effect on January 1, 2021. The program is called the Part D Senior Savings Model, and it caps Part D insulin copays at $35.
Nearly 1,800 Part D and Medicare Advantage plans participate in the 2021 Part D Senior Savings Model. You will pay no more than $35 for a month’s supply regardless of coverage stage.Your copay is capped at $35 during the deductible, initial coverage, coverage gap, and catastrophic coverage stages.
According to CMS, this new program should save the average beneficiary over $400 per year on Part D insulin.
Telehealth coverage under Medicare has been an evolving benefit. Medicare has updated how and when it covers telehealth multiple times. However, due to the 2020 pandemic, Medicare has decided to loosen the reins on telehealth coverage. As of 2021, Medicare will continue covering telehealth services as it did during the peak of the pandemic.
Medicare covers telehealth services for all beneficiaries in the same way it covers in-person doctor visits. While the pandemic is still at large, many doctors are waiving the Part B deductible and coinsurance. Therefore, your Part B deductible and coinsurance may still apply, as they would if you had an in-person doctor visit.
January 1st brings many changes to Medicare every year. You need to prepared and update each year. Do not blindsided by Medicare’s changes in the new year.