Every year, federal and state governments roll out changes to Medicare and Medicaid. More often than not, these changes relate to the rising costs of healthcare, which take the form of higher monthly premiums, deductibles, and coinsurances. However, when Original Medicare experiences changes, Medicare Advantage often changes as well. Let’s take a closer look at the top 5 changes to Medicare Advantage in 2021.
Since Medicare Advantage is provided by private, Medicare-approved insurers, the number of available plans can vary from year to year. On average, an individual will have access to about 33 different Medicare Advantage plans in 2021. However, that number could vary for you based on a variety of factors. The biggest factor is your location. Citizens in rural areas can often access just a few plans, while some counties don’t have access to any plans. Fortunately, the vast majority of older adults in the United States can choose from many different Medicare Advantage plans — as long as they qualify for Original Medicare.
People often assume that Medicare Advantage is inherently more expensive than Original Medicare. Not only is this false for many people, but it’s also getting easier and easier to find low-cost Medicare Advantage plans. According to some reports, approximately 96% of Medicare Advantage enrollees will have access to at least one $0 premium plan. This means that nearly everyone who qualifies for a Medicare Advantage plan can find one that does not come with a monthly premium!
Changes in Part A premiums and coinsurances have little effect on Medicare Advantage, as many Medicare Advantage plans charge a daily copay for inpatient hospital care. However, changes in Part B premiums apply to both Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. In 2021, the standard Part B premium for individuals making less than $88,000 per year (or $176,000 for couples) is $148.50 per month.
In 2020, the Part B deductible was $198. As of 2021, it has increased by $5 per benefit period. This means that you will need to pay for all of your Part B covered care until you reach $204 in 2021. Like your Part B premium, this change applies to both Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage.
Medicare Advantage is a great alternative to Original Medicare. Depending on your medical needs and circumstances, you might be able to save thousands of dollars every year by switching to a Medicare Advantage plan. In any case, you’ll need to keep up with any changes to Medicare or your specific plan in 2021 and beyond!
If you’d like to learn more about changes in Medicare Advantage for 2021 or your Medicare coverage options, feel free to fill out this form or give us a call anytime. Time for 65’s partnered licensed agents are focused on giving you the information you need, with zero pressure to enroll in a plan.