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 since they don’t have to pay anything out of pocket at all.
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 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 your’e 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:
- Alternative to Plan C is Plan N. Plan N is considered a cost-sharing plan, this is because you have to pay a co-pay of up to $20 for doctor visits and up to $50 at the emergency room.
- Alternative to Plan F is Plan G. 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.
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.
As of now, there’s no alternative to High Deductible Plan F. However, we’re expecting that a High Deductible Plan G will be introduced before 2020.
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