Time to Review Medicare

Every October, Medicare gets a makeover. Now, through December 7, those on Medicare have the opportunity to make changes to various aspects of coverage.

October… it’s not just about Halloween.

According to MedicareResources.org these are Key Takeaways for 2020:

  • The Part B deductible is projected to increase to $197 for 2020.
  • Part A premiums, deductible, and coinsurance are projected to be higher in 2020.
  • Medigap Plans C and F will no longer be available for purchase by newly-eligible Medicare beneficiaries.
  • The Medicare Plan Finder tool has been upgraded for the first time in a decade.
  • The income brackets are high-income premium adjustments for Medicare Part B and D will be inflation-adjusted for the first time in 2020; “high-income” will start at $87,000 for a single person, instead of $85,000.
  • Medicare Advantage enrollment is expected to continue to increase.
  • Part D donut hole will no longer exist after the end of 2019, but a standard plan’s maximum deductible will increase to $435, and the threshold for entering the catastrophic coverage phase (where out-of-pocket spending decreases significantly) will increase to $6,350.

For those wishing to talk to a “real live person” about the best options for yourself, or for someone in your care that is on Medicare, we recommend the good people at The Medicare Plan Store. Let them know we sent you.

What you need to know about Obamacare if you have Medicare

caduceus and cashWith all the media hype on TV about the disastrous roll-out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most of us are taking a second look at our current medical plan and its costs. If you’re over 65, you can change the channel and relax. Your Medicare coverage is protected. Medicare isn’t part of the Health Insurance Marketplace established by ACA, so you don’t have to replace your Medicare coverage with Marketplace coverage. No matter how you get Medicare, whether through Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan, you’ll still have the same benefits and security you have now.

While you don’t need to do anything with the Marketplace during ACA Open Enrollment, you might want to review your coverage during Medicare’s Open Enrollment time occurring now between October 15 and December 7. Here are a few minor changes in Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans:

Medicare now covers mammograms and colonoscopies without charging you for the Part B coinsurance or deductible. You still get a free yearly “wellness” visit.

The donut hole continues to shrink. You get a 50% discount when buying Part D-covered brand-name prescription drugs. The discount is applied automatically at the counter of your pharmacy — you don’t have to do anything to get it.

Premiums are similar to 2013, but watch out for higher co-pays and smaller pharmacy networks.

The Medicare Trust fund is projected to be exhausted in 2026 – only 12 years from now. So seniors with a good long life still ahead of them probably shouldn’t get too relaxed about the ACA and what it means for our future, and the future of our children and grandchildren.

Tips on Ohio Financial Planning for Senior Care

If you have aging parents who reside in Ohio, there’s a great resource for families who need to plan for affordable senior care provided by Care.com  On the site, you will learn that the median cost of long-term care in Ohio ranges from $44,500 for a private one-bedroom in assisted living to $81,213 for a private room in a nursing home. The bottom line is that senior care is expensive and the time for planning is now.

Ohio Senior CareIf this news is startling, there are programs and levies in Ohio that offer a series of financial assistance programs for seniors on Medicare. Bookmark the Care.com page for tips on how your loved one can qualify for Ohio medicare savings programs and how Ohio aids its senior population financially through Ohio Senior Services Levies. Care.com also offers a comprehensive guide to senior care that helps readers understand the options in detail and answers frequently asked questions.

Getting the professional help to manage an aging parent’s financial resources before these decisions are made can better prepare your family and your loved one for these future draining expenses. With our help, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your parent’s finances are in order and there is a clear understanding of current assets and expenses. This knowledge is invaluable when the time comes to apply for Ohio senior program eligibility.