Consumer Alert – Changes to Medicare in 2018
Prescription Drug Plan – Better Discounts
- Prescription drug coverage contains a gap called the “donut hole” that starts once you have reached your coverage limit ($3750 in 2018) and ends once you have spent $5000 in drug costs. Each of these costs are $50 higher in 2018.
- Once in the donut hole – you will pay 35% of brand name drug costs and 44% of generic drugs. These costs are down 40% and 44% respectively.
- Part D deductible will be $405, an increase of $5 from 2017.
New Medicare ID Cards – Better Protection
- To reduce the potential for identity theft and senior fraud, all beneficiaries will receive new Medicare ID cards that will no longer include Social Security numbers. Cards will be sent between April 2018 and April 2019.
- Your new Medicare Number will be randomly selected. Once you have received your new card, shred and dispose of your old card.
New Income Brackets for Part B Premiums for High-Income
- Although 2018 Medicare Part B rates have not been set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), those with incomes over $160,000 ($320,000 for a married couple) will pay the highest Part B premiums, (lowered from $241,000 for individuals and $480,000 for married couples in 2017).
- People with incomes between $85,001 and $107,000 ($140,001 and $214,000 for married couples) will not see change.
Medicare Supplement Plans – Continued Growth Expected in 2018
- One in 4 people are enrolled in a Medicare Supplement Plan, also known as Medigap.
- Plans supply coverage for the “gap” in Original Medicare, and covers items such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.
- You must have Medicare Part A and Part B to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan.
- Availability and premiums are based on the type of plan, and may be based on your resident state and zip code, age, tobacco use, and medical underwriting. Discounts may apply.
Medicare Advantage Plans – Continued Growth Expected in 2018
- Approximately 31 % of people with Medicare are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan last year. Many plans will be available in 2018, and some have $0 cost.
- It is important to review changes in coverage options.
For more information, visit Medicare.gov