3 Changes to Medicare in 2017
1. Premiums are on the Rise:
With Part A of medicare, there are two ways you can qualify, either “free” coverage or you pay a premium. If you have “free” coverage then your benefits will remain the same, if you pay for you coverage then your Part A will go up very modestly from $411 a year in 2016 to $413 a year for 2017. Not a huge difference at all but thats not the only thing increasing and all of those little things add up. Part B premiums are also going up by 0.3% however, if you are already enrolled in automatic deduction from your social security check then you will be protected from this change. The main increase is in the actual monthly premiums which are set to go up a good bit from 2016. The increases are based on taxable income. Part D plans are also increasing, some up for 4% which will bring the average to $35.63 but the actual plan prices differ drastically based on location and situation.
2. Deductibles and Co- Insurance are Heading Higher, too:
Most people don’t pay a premium for Part A, they do however still incur a cost for the use of the benefit. Which basically means the deductible is increasing overall for the year and after day 61 the Co- insurance per day is increasing from $322 a day to $329 a day. The deductible for Part B is increasing from $166 a year to $183 a year. Just like years past, once you have reached the deductible for Part B, you will typically be responsible for your 20% coinsurance of Medicare approved costs. Part D deductibles vary between plans, however in 2016 the cap was $360 but in 2017 it will be increased to $400.
3.Fewer Choices for Medicare Part D:
Across the country 746 plans will be offered for prescriptions drug coverage. This might seems like a large number but it is intact 16% less than the previous year. The trouble with having less plans to offer is it increases the plans monthly premium due to more claims and cost the company has to incur. There is supposed to be at least 18 plans in each state so seniors have options to chose from but with this downward trend of plan choices it will soon be difficult for that to remain the norm.