It’s open enrollment time for recipients of Medicare (open enrollment ends Dec. 7!), and I have heard from many of our clients about how confusing everything is. I know it can be overwhelming and frustrating with all of the TV commercials and newspaper ads from each type of HMO out there. While I can’t point you in the right direction as to what plan is a better choice for your specific needs, I can explain Medicare and provide the new monthly premium amounts for 2020 (please see the chart below).
How to Decipher Medicare
Medicare is divided into several different parts (A-D). You can mix and match the following, depending on your needs:
Medicare Part A: Covers inpatient hospital care, a skilled nursing facility, hospice services, lab testing, surgery, and then home health care after a hospital or skilled nursing stay. This part of Medicare is usually at no additional cost, as most taxpayers who have worked in the United States and paid taxes along the way will have this part covered.
Medicare Part B: Covers doctor and specialist visits, outpatient care like physical or occupational therapy, medical equipment, and some preventative care like cardiovascular disease screenings or self-management training for diabetes. Part B premiums are now increasing to $144.60 per month in 2020.
Medicare Part C: Also known as the Medicare Advantage Plans, these are private health plans (HMO or PPO) that give you the same coverage as Medicare Parts A & B, but often include prescription drug coverage, which is not included in original Medicare (you would need to choose your own Part D prescription coverage, and may have a monthly premium cost associated with it). Medicare Advantage Plans may include services like dental and vision, and fitness programs. Not all Medicare Advantage Plans include prescription drug coverage, so please be aware of that.
Medicare Part D: Also known as the Prescription Drug Program, Part D was implemented in 2006 after it was created by the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA). Anyone who is covered by Original Medicare (either Parts A & B or both) may enroll in the Part D program. There are two types: a Medicare Advantage Plan as described above, or a stand-alone policy from a Medicare-approved, private insurance company. You may choose a plan based on the medications you take. There are many times during the year that you may make changes to your Part D plan.
Please see the chart on this page with the premium and coverage updates for 2020 for Parts A and B.
Social Security and Medicaid Increases for 2020
In addition to Medicare changes for 2020, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries will be receiving a 1.6% increase for 2020. The standard base rate for a single adult on SSI is being raised to $783 per month. Based on this amount, the new 2020 income limit for Medicaid (for those states that have an income cap) will be $2,350 per month.
If you have any questions or need assistance with Medicare, Social Security or Medicaid, please give us a call to set up an appointment at (561) 750-3850 or 1-800-ELDERLAW or visit www.elderlawassociates.com.
The following are the new rates for Medicare Part A deductibles and Part B monthly premiums:
|Medicare Part A||2019 Rates||2020 Rates|
|Inpatient Hospital Care Days|
|Inpatient Hospital Care Co-insurance Days 61-90||$341/day||$352/day|
|Inpatient Hospital Care Co-insurance Days 91-150||$682/day||$704/day|
|Skilled Nursing Facility Daily Co-insurance Days 21-100||$170.50/day||$176/day|
|Medicare Part B||2019 Premium||2020 Premium|
|Average Standard Monthly Premium (for those receiving Social Security benefits)||$135.50||$144.60 (may be less by those covered by hold-harmless provision)|
2020 Part B Income-Related Premiums
If your yearly income in 2019 (for what you pay in 2020) was:
|Beneficiaries who file an individual tax return with income:||Beneficiaries who file a joint tax return with income:||Beneficiaries who are married, but file a separate tax return with income:||Income-related monthly adjustment amount:||Total monthly Part B premium amount:|
|Less than or equal to $87,000||Less than or equal to $174,000||Less than or equal to $87,000||$0.00||$144.60|
|Greater than $87,000 and less than or equal to $109,000||Greater than $174,000 and less than or equal to $218,000||N/A||$57.80||$202.40|
|Greater than $109,000 and less than or equal to $136,000||Greater than $218,000 and less than or equal to $272,000||N/A||$144.60||$289.20|
|Greater than $136,000 and less than or equal to $163,000||Greater than $272,000 and less than or equal to $326,000||N/A||$231.40||$376.00|
|Greater than $163,000 and less than or equal to $500,000||Greater than $326,000 and less than or equal to $750,000||Greater than $87,000 and less than $413,000||$318.10||$462.70|
|Greater than $500,000||Greater than $750,000||Greater than or equal to $413,000||$347.00||$491.60|