There are many changes coming to Medicare in 2020. These changes will impact all current and future Medicare beneficiaries. Below, we’ll review all of these changes to keep you informed regarding your Medicare benefits.
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 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 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 eliminates all Medigap Plans that cover the Medicare Part B deductible.
The reason for the change is due to 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.
Critics argue that the deductible may keep people from getting the care they need.
When people don’t see a doctor, they can end up with more serious conditions down the road.
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 January 1st, 2020, you can continue to enroll in these first-dollar coverage plans after they have been discontinued. They’re only being discontinued to those who are not considered Medicare eligible until AFTER 2020.
For those currently enrolled in a first-dollar coverage plan, you’ll be grandfathered in. You don’t need to make any changes to your coverage unless you’re simply comparing benefits and/or rates to see if there’s a better plan for you.
Even if you’re Medicare-eligible before 2020, but don’t enroll in Medicare Part B for one reason or another until after 2020, you can still enroll in a first-dollar coverage plan to supplement your Medicare benefits.
Again, as long as you’re Medicare-eligible BEFORE 2020, you can still sign up for a 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 your out of pocket costs low. The only difference 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 have to 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 that 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 don’t want the co-pays that come with Plan N, then Plan D is the way to go. Nither Plan D or Plan N cover excess charges. If you want coverage for excess charges, you would want to 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 as Plan F. This plan covers virtually all your medical and hospitalization costs, including excess charges. Plan G is already a popular plan because it offers great coverage with a much lower premium than Plan F.
Plan G is a good bet if you want the fullest possible coverage. Once you meet the annual Part B deductible, you shouldn’t have any further expenses for services covered by Medicare.
Plan N is a good choice if you’re looking to save money on premiums, don’t mind a small copay, and aren’t concerned about excess charges. Excess charges aren’t allowed in some states, and even where they’re permitted, not all providers charge them. In fact, only 3% of providers charge excess charges.
Plan D and Plan G Will be Guaranteed Issue Plans Starting 2020
Another important fact, MACRA is making both Plan D and Plan G guaranteed issue plans for “newly-eligible” Medicare beneficiaries who are not able to sign up for Plan C or Plan F.
Remember, if you’re Medicare-eligible prior to 2020, then you will not be given guaranteed issue for Plan D and Plan G. However, you will still be eligible for a guaranteed issue with Plan C and Plan F.
New High Deductible Plan G Coming in 2020
Even though Medigap Plan F High Deductible is not really a first-dollar coverage plan, it’s being discontinued since it’s a plan that falls under Plan F.
Good news is, there’s a new high-deductible plan coming in 2020, High Deductible Plan G.
Starting in 2020, any beneficiary can sign up for High-Deductible Plan G, regardless if they’re considered “Medicare-eligible” before or after 2020. However, it won’t be available until 1/1/2020.
Speak to a Licensed Agent Today
At MedicareFAQ, our mission is to help you find the best Medicare coverage at the best price. We strive to keep our clients informed on any changes regarding their Medicare benefits.
Let us research the top insurance companies in your area to find you the best rates on Medicare Supplement policies. Whether you’re inquiring for yourself or a loved one, our services are 100% free. Give us a call, or fill out our rate comparison form to get started.