8 big changes to Medicare in 2020

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Changes to Medicare in 2020

People enrolled in Medicare are seeing a lot of changes to their benefits this year. The 2020 changes affect Medicare Supplement plan options and Medicare Part A, Part B, and Part D costs. With these changes comes a bit of confusion among seniors, who have already been through the bewildering open enrollment season that ended December 7. We’d like to help by summarizing and explaining a bit about what is new to Medicare costs in 2020. 

Part B premiums increased

According to Medicare Resources, in 2020, the standard premium for Medicare Part B was increased to $144.60 (up from $135.50 in 2019). This increase is due to the Social Security cost of living adjustment at 1.6% for 2020. This raised benefits by around $24/month, which is more than enough to cover the premium increase for Part B enrollees. 

Part B deductible increased

The Part B deductible will increase by $13 to a total of $198 in 2020. If you are enrolled in Part B, you may have supplemental coverage that pays your deductible. 

Part A premiums 

Almost 99% of enrollees don’t pay a premium for part A. However, you’ll have to pay a premium of $252/month if you or your spouse don’t have 40 quarters of work history, which is up from $240 last year. If you have fewer than 30 quarters of work history, the premium is $458/month, up from $437 last year. 

Part A deductibles

The Part A deductible, which applies to each benefit period, has increased to $1,408 this year for all enrollees, up from $1,364 last year. You may have supplemental coverage that pays all or part of the Part A deductible. 

Part A coinsurance

If you are enrolled in Part A and need additional inpatient coverage beyond the first 60 days for which you are covered, there’s an additional daily coinsurance charge. This additional coinsurance charge is $352 per day for the 61st through 90th day of inpatient care. Beyond that, coinsurance for inpatient care will cost $704 in 2020 (for up to a total of 60 days), which is up from $682 in 2019. After you use up your lifetime reserve days, you pay all costs. 

If you receive care in skilled nursing facilities, the Part A deductible you paid for your inpatient hospital stay beforehand will cover the first 20 days. You have to have had an inpatient hospital stay of 3 or more days before you can transfer to a skilled nursing facility. Days 21 through 100 in a skilled nursing facility will require a coinsurance payment of $176 per day. 

Medigap Plans C and F are no longer available to newly eligible enrollees

In a summary of changes from Medicare Resources, their website explains that you can keep Medigap Plans C or F if you already have them. However, in an attempt to curtail the overutilization of services, these plans are no longer available to those who are newly-eligible for Medicare after January 1, 2020. A new high-deductible plan, Plan G, has been made available to replace the high deductible Plan F.  

Medicare Plan Finder gets an upgrade for the first time in a decade

In August 2019, The Medicare Plan Finder tool was upgraded. According to CMS, the new tool will make it easier for beneficiaries to see 2020 Medicare changes and to:

  • Compare pricing between Original Medicare, Medicare prescription drug plans, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policies;
  • View different coverage options on their smartphones and tablets;
  • Compare up to three drug plans or three Medicare Advantage plans side-by-side;
  • Get plan costs and benefits, including which Medicare Advantage plans offer extra benefits;
  • Build a personal drug list and find Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage that best meets their needs.

Changes to stand-alone Part D prescription drug plans

According to Medicare Resources, for stand-alone Part D prescription drug plans, the maximum allowable deductible for standard Part D plans is $435 in 2020, which is up from $415 in 2019. The threshold for catastrophic coverage also increased to $6,350 in 2020, and copayments for the catastrophic coverage level increased slightly. 

As of 2020, enrollees in standard Part D plans pay 25% of the cost for brand-name and generic drugs after meeting their deductible. This will be the standard payment until they reach the catastrophic coverage threshold. 

How we can help

USA Healthcare is here to help you navigate your Medicare questions. Visit our resources page on our website for more information.