Are you one of the 44 million people who rely on Medicare for health insurance?1 Medicare is an important and valuable resource for many retirees. While Medicare doesn’t cover every medical expense, it does provide a significant level of support. Depending on your exact coverage, you can use Medicare to cover hospitalizations, doctor’s visits, prescription drugs and more.
Medicare offers an open enrollment period every year. This is a good time to review your medical needs and explore whether a different coverage package may be more appropriate. You can also choose from one of many different types of Medicare Advantage plans to provide a more robust level of protection.
Every year, Medicare makes changes to the program. Those changes could include price increases, deductible adjustments and even additions to the list of treatment covered under Medicare. Below are three of the biggest changes you can expect in 2019. Be sure to consider these changes and all of your needs and options as you head into the open enrollment period.
Premium, Deductible and Copay Increases
Medicare prices are going up slightly in 2019. Most people don’t pay a premium for Medicare Part A. However, Part A does come with a deductible that usually increases each year. In 2019 the deductible will increase from $1,340 to $1,364.2
There are also slight increases for Part B. Premiums are increasing from $134 per month to $135.50. Also, Part B deductibles are increasing for the first time in two years. The deductible held steady at $183 in 2017 and 2018. However, it will increase to $185 in 2019.2
Costs could also increase for Part D and for Medicare Advantage plans. A wide range of different policies are available, however, all of which are priced differently. Take your time and investigate a variety of supplemental policies before choosing the right one for you.
New Medicare Advantage Services
One of the challenges with Medicare in the past has been that it doesn’t usually cover long-term care services. Medicare will temporarily cover some costs in a nursing home if the care is directly related to the treatment of a specific condition. Usually, the stay in the nursing home has to be preceded by a hospitalization. Outside of those specific circumstances, however, Medicare doesn’t offer much in the way of long-term care coverage, especially for care provided in the home.
That could change in 2019. Some Medicare Advantage policies will begin offering coverage for home care services. This coverage could allow you to hire an in-home aide for basic tasks such as mobility, bathing, cleaning and even household chores. Some plans will even cover home modifications and safety improvements like handrails and wheelchair ramps. Use the open enrollment period to analyze these policies and see if they make sense for you.
90-Day Advantage Trial Period
Medicare Advantage is expanding the open enrollment period this year. In the past, open enrollment has lasted approximately six weeks. In 2019, however, open enrollment will run until the end of March. This gives you more time to analyze your needs and find the right policy.
Medicare Advantage is also offering a disenrollment period during the same time. That means you can change your mind and disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan if you decide it’s not right for you. You can switch back to traditional Medicare, or you can switch to a different Medicare Advantage policy.
Ready to develop your Medicare strategy? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at Baacke Insurance Services. We can help you analyze your needs and find the right protection for you. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.
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18154 - 2018/10/17