2016 Medicare Costs: How Much Will Seniors Pay?

2016 medicare costs
Important:
Medicare open enrollment for 2016 ends on December 7, 2015. After December 7th you won’t be able to make any changes to your older adult’s health care and prescription drug plans until October 2016.

 

2016 Medicare costs increase

As you might have seen in the news, Medicare costs are going up in 2016. This affects millions of older adults across the U.S. who depend on the program to help cover medical costs.

This is important because the Medicare Open Enrollment period is happening right now – Oct 15 to Dec 7. This is the once-a-year chance to make changes to your senior’s Medicare plans in order to get the best coverage for the lowest cost.

 

Price hikes to expect

To save you the headache of trying to figure this out, we’ve summarized the most important cost changes below.

Part B – covers doctor visits and other outpatient services

Increase: 15% above the 2015 premium cost

Who’s affected:

  • People who enroll in 2016
  • High income individuals
  • Medicare recipients who don’t get Social Security.

Background: In October, a 52% increase in Medicare Part B premiums were expected to happen in 2016 for 30% of Medicare recipients and all 2016 enrollees. But, in early November, a new federal budget bill that Obama signed into law reduced the amount of that increase to 15%. Still not great, but every little bit helps.

 

Part D – covers prescription drugs

Increases:

  • Most Part D beneficiaries are expected to pay higher premiums unless they switch plans
  • The annual maximum deductible will rise to $360
  • Increased use of co-insurance based on a percentage of the drug cost instead of flat co-pays — this means higher out-of-pocket costs for more expensive drugs
  • High-income seniors will pay an extra monthly surcharge on top of the regular monthly premium based on their income – see chart for details

 

Spend your time finding a better Part D plan

There’s not much you can do about the Part B price hike, but you can probably find a better value Part D plan. A recent study found that people enrolled in Medicare Part D plans will see a 13% increase in premiums if they keep their current plan.

Use the Medicare Plan Finder to to see if another Part D plan will cover the drugs your older adult needs for a lower price. Get more information about Part D changes here.

 

Bottom line

Nobody can stop costs from rising, but you can help reduce the impact on your senior’s wallet. The time you spend now shopping around for the best value plan could save your family thousands in 2016.

 

Next Step  Save time, get expert help to find the best Medicare plans for your senior

 

You might also like:
Free Help You Can Trust: 2016 Medicare Open Enrollment
2016 Medicare Open Enrollment: What You Need to Know
Get Trusted Medicare Advice for Free

 

By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: ConsumerAffairs

1 Comment

  • Reply November 10, 2015

    Peter Kang

    Ouch. Those price hikes are going to hurt for families and their seniors alike. How significantly do you think this will impact a family’s ability to hire a home health aide?

    Unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t cover other important aspects of a senior’s life like light housekeeping and meal preparation. Even personal care like bathing, dressing, and toileting isn’t covered under Medicare if that’s the only care your loved one needs. Worst of all, if the senior requires 24 hour live-in care at their home, that’s not covered either by Medicare.

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