Original Medicare undergoes some changes every year. More often than not, the changes are related to changes in premium and coinsurance rates. Since the costs of healthcare are on the rise, Medicare costs have to increase accordingly. However, when it comes to Medicare Part D, not every change means higher costs for you. Either way, you can expect a couple of key changes to your plan for the next calendar year. Let’s look at the top 5 changes to Medicare Part D in 2021.

Insulin Costs Are Capped at $35 Per Month

Over 1.5 million Americans suffer from Type 1 diabetes. Insulin therapy is one of the most common treatments for the condition. Moreover, for many patients, having affordable insulin can mean the difference between life and death. While insulin prices have been on the rise, Medicare is working to ensure that all Medicare beneficiaries have access to insulin if and when they need it. As a result, the cost for insulin (under Medicare Part D) will be capped at $35 per month.

Plans Include a Smaller Percentage of Low-Tier Drugs

Most Part D plans categorize drugs into five distinct categories. Generally, Tier 1 drugs are the low-cost, generic versions of name-brand medications. As you go higher on the list, the drugs usually become more expensive. Tier 5 drugs are often the name-brand drugs that cost the most. In any case, older adults will see a small decrease in the percentage of low-tier (Tier 1 and 2) drugs when compared to 2021.

Premiums Are on the Rise

Like most other health insurance plans, Part D is seeing a sharp increase in its monthly premiums in 2021. Though premiums vary based on the plan and provider, the average monthly premium for Part D will increase by nearly 10%. In 2020, the average premium was $38 per month. This year, that number has increased to $41.

Part D Deductibles Are Higher

While the change in Part D deductibles may not be as significant as the change in monthly premiums, you can still expect to see higher deductibles in 2021. On average, Part D deductibles will increase from $435 in 2020 to $445 in 2021. This represents a change of a little more than 2%. Though this isn’t very much, when combined with higher premiums, it could mean that you’ll need to pay quite a bit more for your Part D plan in 2021.

You Have Access to More Plans 

When it comes to health insurance, having options is a huge plus. Fortunately, 2021 is a year in which both Part D and Medicare Advantage will offer upwards of 30 plans for some adults. However, keep in mind that your location plays an important role in plan availability.

The Bottom Line

If you just rely on Original Medicare, you’ll have very little coverage for prescription drugs. Therefore, it’s a good idea to either get a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage or a standalone Part D plan. If you choose the latter, you’ll want to keep up with all the latest changes to Part D in 2021 and beyond!

If you’d like to learn more about changes in Medicare Part D 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.