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
- 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
- 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.
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.
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff