Medicare 2020 - What's New?
Of the changes coming to Medicare for 2020, here are the two most important.
The first is good news: In Medicare Part D, prescription drug coverage, the oft-criticized "donut hole" has finally disappeared, although many of you may not notice anything.
Here are the four stages of coverage in the so-called "Standard Plans:"
1) The Deductible - now 435.00
2) The Initial Coverage Level - 436.00 to 4020.00 - the beneficiary pays 25% until Stage 3)
3) The "Gap" - 4021.00 to 6350.00 - also 25% (it used to be much higher)
4) The Catastrophic Stage - above 6350.00 (in what is called "True Out of Pocket" expenses). Here, the Medicare beneficiary pays 3.60 for generic drugs and 8.95 for brand name drugs OR 5%, whichever is higher.
Many of you will choose plans that are non-Standard. In those, there is either no deductible or a smaller deductible. And note that for those of you who have Part C of Medicare (Medicare Advantage) instead of Original Medicare, there is usually no deductible (there may be a small deductible for drugs in the higher tiers).
The Part D plans will vary widely in costs and coverage. So it is important that research be done. This is an topic I have called "strategies" - picking the right plan for your own individual needs. For more on this, please see my article, "Using Part D Strategies."
The second important change comes from the new law called "MACRA," or the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. Anyone going on Medicare for the first time in 2020 and beyond will no longer be able to purchase the Medicare Supplement (or "Medigap") Plan F and Plan C. Those who currently have them will be able to keep them. This actually a good thing. Please see my article, "You can keep Plan F - but should you?"