Every year, Medicare changes a little, and sometimes the changes are significant and you need to know about them to choose the plan that’s right for you. Here are some important points.
The “Doughnut Hole” Goes Away
In 2020, there’s a big plus. The so-called “Doughnut Hole” in Medicare Part D plans is eliminated. In past years, you would see an increase in costs of covered prescriptions after the value of purchased prescriptions reached $3,820. Beginning January 1, you’ll pay just 25% of the cost of drugs in this gap. That’s about the same as you would typically pay before you entered the “hole.”
You Can Still Get Supplement Plans F and C.
Newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries will no longer be allowed to enroll in Supplemental Plans F and C, but if you become eligible before January 1, 2020, you can still apply for these plans and in the future, even if you aren’t currently enrolled for Medigap. If your eligibility falls after January 1, 2020, you won’t be able to enroll.
There Are Always Small Changes in Medicare Advantage and Part D Plans. Be Alert.
You can always expect insurers to make some tweaks each year in these plans, which may include changes in premiums or deductible. In many cases, the changes aren’t finalized until just before open enrollment. So if you saw some proposed changes in your plan back in the summer, check again. The final versions may not be the same.
It always pays to spend a little time every open enrollment period re-familiarizing yourself with Medicare and your particular plan. And there are plenty of resources online to help, along with access to Medicare staff via telephone. If you have a question or concern, now’s the time to ask, because once you settle on a plan, you have to live with it for the rest of the year.
You can learn more at www.medicare.gov.