2016 brings with it some important Medicare changes.. It’s important for you to understand those changes, and know the impact they’ll have on your benefits.
Some people will be paying higher premiums for their Part B coverage. The “holdharmless” provision has been activated this year because there’s no Social Security Cost of Living
Most Medicare recipients won’t see an increase in their premium because of this; however those who don’t have their Part B premiums deducted from their Social Security checks do stand to see a substantial increase. Thanks to a last minute budget deal by Congress, the increases won’t be as big as they might have been, but the baseline premium amount will increase to $121.80 per month for those participants.
Another change is that the deductible and copayment amounts for Parts A and B will increase. Part B deductibles will increase $19 to $166 in 2016. The Part A hospital admission deductible will rise to $1,288, an increase of $28 for the first 60 days of hospital care. And for days 61 through 90 daily coinsurance amounts will increase $7 to $322.
Additionally, recipients in skilled nursing facilities will pay more in coinsurance, with that amount rising to $161 in 2016.
The last big change to the Medicare landscape is that Part D prescription drug plan premiums are expected to increase by an average of 8%. Since these plans are offered by private insurers the amounts will vary across the different carriers.
It’s also expected that, on average, Medicare recipients will have fewer choices with respect to these plans in 2016. The 26 plans recipients have to chose from in 2016, represent a decline of more than 50% in a decade.
Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage. For more information visit www.MediGapAdvisors.com.