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Songer Benefits, Inc. Blog

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance

Medicare 2022 Update

This article is for you if you already have Medicare and want to know what has changed for 2022 and what to do about it. This article is specifically for people who already have a Medicare supplement standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan; if you want to know what may be changing for 2022, what's going to remain the same. Of course, what to do about it? In this article, we will have the answers for you if you're new to Medicare and you're in your initial enrollment period, or you will be new to Medicare Part B sometime in the months ahead of this annual election. It is not for you that you have a different special or initial enrollment period set up around the time your Medicare Part B and your party will start the annual election. It is for those who already have Medicare, so in this article, I'm going to talk about Medicare Part A and Part B for 2022 Medicare supplement plans for 2022 Medicare Advantage plans and, of course, Medicare Part D prescription drug plans for 2022. Also called the AEP is every year from October 15 through December 7, and open enrollment is from January 1 through March 31 each year. These are two very different enrollment periods. I'm going to talk about each and what you can do and what you should do during these annual periods, but this is not going to be a very long video. Still, the information here is important, so please stay tuned. My company Songer Benefits is an independent insurance brokerage specializing in Medicare; we help people with their Medicare decisions in West Virginia. we work with all Medicare supplement plans; we also work with Medicare Advantage plans in West Virginia. Of course, Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, best of all our services, are free to you, the consumer you don't pay us were paid by the insurance company when we help you with your application, like life insurance, auto, or homeowners insurance, and so on this. Medicare benefits over the past few years. By now, many of you have seen the national commercials using Joe Nemeth. Now JJ Walker and so on, and these commercials tout benefits offered in minimal regions of the country by only one or two insurance companies and are found mostly in plans designed for those who are the most economically challenged. In my opinion, these commercials are misleading and confuse the viewer. I know because we receive many telephone calls about them, well, it looks like Medicare will finally address this issue. There is a memo from CMS there seems to be the Center for Medicare and Medicaid services as Medicare manages Medicare, and his memo is dated October 8, 2021. There is not yet been an official announcement for 2022 just yet however social security's just released the 2022 changes in benefits there will be a 5.9% increase in Social Security checks your income for show from Social Security for 2022 I suspect that the increases in Medicare deductibles and the Part B premium will be close to the same I link below this video the current Medicare premiums deductibles etc once the new rates are announced for 2022 that link will be updated for you if you're a current client we will be emailing that information to you and text you to make sure that you're aware of the email what I believe is that we will see some of the highest percentage increases in the deductibles than we've seen in years and probably in the Medicare Part B premium as well but here's what you need to know first your Medicare Part B premium which starts at $148.50 for 2021 can increase depending on your modified adjusted gross income as it was reported two years ago that Part B premium is unofficially expected to increase to about $158.50 for 2022 but nothing is official yet we have to wait and see it's only a few weeks away but if that projection is accurate it would be a 6.7% increase in your Part B premium I suspect the increase in the premiums and the deductibles for Medicare Part A and Part B will be close to that 6% mark this is important if you are not taking your Social Security income your Medicare Part B premium will increase to whatever level that they announced for 2022 if you are taking your Social Security income your Medicare Part B premium can only increase no more than the Social Security cost of living index percentage increase your cola for example let's say the Medicare Part B announces a premium rate increase to $158.50 just for an example if you're not yet receiving your Social Security benefits your new rate will be $158.50 pretty simple if you are receiving your Social Security benefits and the cost index is up 5.9% then your Part B premium can only increase 5.9 percent 257 and $0.26 so when you have your Social Security income when you are accepting your Social Security income it is quite possible that your increase in your Part B premium would be less than the increase same people will have that are not getting their Social Security income so we can expect the annual Medicare Part B deductible the Medicare Part a deductible and the copays all to increase for 2022 now if you are paying more for your Part B premium due to the irma the income related monthly adjustment amounts that entire table can change as well it's my opinion that this irma table is where most of the increases in Medicare costs will be observed in the years ahead why because there's no political cost it's easy for Congress and Medicare to increase what people pay for their Medicare using the changes in the irma table again because there is no political cost politicians just vote to approve medicare's recommendations they don't have to take their responsibility for the vote so that's Medicare we can't do anything about those changes except be aware and ready for them look at the link below this video probably in mid November sometime for the 2022 numbers we will also be emailing this information to our client now let's look at Medicare supplement plans the good news about Medicare supplement plans is that the benefits never change once you have a Medicare supplement plan no one can change your benefits or take it away from you not even an act of Congress for example Medicare supplement plan G pays all of your inpatient and outpatient Medicare expenses except the annual Medicare Part B deductible that Part B deductible can change but the benefits of the supplement plan G cannot this means that there are no 2022 Medicare supplements they are the same as 2020 one 2020 or 1918 and so on the benefits have not changed because the benefits do not change you should hold onto your Medicare supplement in less there are unusually high price increases our plan from your insurance company most people should not make changes in their Medicare supplements just keep what you have it will continue until you decide to change it now there should not be a 2022 Medicare supplement prices so let me explain Medicare supplement plans do not operate on a calendar year basis they operate on a contract clear basis whatever month you started your Medicare plan is your contract anniversary the rate increase should typically only be on that contract anniversary that's typically so I'm quite aware there are some insurance companies that love to announce new rates at the beginning of each year it's like rate increases are an annual right if you have a Medicare supplement from a company that does this I can assure you you're with a company that has higher than average price increases over your lifetime it's likely going to be much more expensive over your lifetime than alternative plans or same plan with alternative companies so I suggest letting us shop your plan it's very likely we can save you money but keep in mind there's no annual election. For Medicare supplement plans you can change supplement plans at anytime if you qualify medically depending on your state rules some rules some states will have rules that of special rules that override Medicare and provide an annual enrollment period some with limitations so first here's what's important to understand right now about Medicare supplement plans expect Medicare supplement plan the premiums to increase with inflation if your insurance policy has to pay the higher deductibles and higher copays etc and they will increase prices to make up for it so higher prices are inevitable the more benefits that your Medicare supplement offers the greater the percentage of increase in premiums that's why the plan G typically rises at a faster rate than a planet so here's a warning for those by the way with the high deductible Medicare supplement plans we do a lot of those plans have been doing quite a lot but over the years I love him in certain states there's some states they don't make any sense in some states they make a lot of sense but here's the thing the high deductible Medicare supplement plans F and plan GR vulnerable to increased inflation the plan deductible is linked to the Social Security cost of living index that means the deductible will increase by 5.9% for 2022 now that is a direct reduction in your benefits it would be in addition to any premium increases so please consider that if this country devolves into a period of high inflation the value of the high deductible plan relative to the full coverage of a plan and or plan G will erode significantly other than that if you have experienced a Medicare supplement price increase of 10% or more you don't have to take it on the chin just get in touch with us let us know which plan you have which company which insurance company and we'll look at the other companies in the other plans and see if we can help you keep your costs down now if you have not experienced price increase of at least 10% and you're happy with your plan great you don't have to do a thing you're likely just find where you are but certainly check your Medicare Part D prescription drug plan and I'll have more on that in a moment we have some big news on some of the Part D plans so next let's talk quickly about Medicare Advantage plans both Medicare Advantage plan and Medicare Part D plan benefits change every year that's why there's an annual election. The annual election. Is your opportunity to look at next year's plans and choose the one that the benefits that best fits your needs there are a lot of new Medicare Advantage plans this year you must shop your Medicare Advantage plan to each year to see what has changed or if something better is now available and looking at plans across the country from the major carriers on seeing a lot of new chronic illness and special needs plans like we did last year now these are plans to specialize in specific chronic conditions mostly I've seen her for diabetics or cardiac health issues but that is growing if you have a chronic condition you should look to see if there is a special needs plan available for you in your area it may be worth your while there also there are some insurance companies whose prescription drug portion of their advantage plan is changing significantly if you don't check your plan you're at risk of finding out if your prescriptions may be not covered or is that simply cost too much is at a higher price the bottom line please do not assume that you can keep your 2021 plan enter 2022 without changes these plans may have significant changes or only minor changes just shop your plan and compare it to the other plans that are available to you with the technology that we that my company has today it's extraordinarily simple for you to shop with us you provide us with your list of doctors and your prescriptions we enter it into a secure HIPAA compliant databases searches the plans that are available to you in your area we can find the best fit in almost no time at all we can see for example who has the best prices for prescriptions which plans except all of your doctors and more I would say gone are the days of trying to check each insurance company's website but there are many agents they don't have the specialized tools that we have and they actually still shop that way our way is much more accurate and fast we can accomplish in 15 minutes what it takes other agents hours so if you want to stay with your plan you don't have to do a thing it will roll over automatically into next year's version again if you want to stay with your plan you don't have to do anything that's true with any of the Medicare plans you don't have to do anything but if you want to you have between October 15th and December 7th again that's the annual election. That's the period for you to shop your Medicare Advantage plan for changes for next year now if you happen to enroll and you change your mind during this annual election. You apply for another plan whichever plan that you enroll in last between December 7 and we excuse me between October 15 and December 7 will be the plan that you have as of January 1 this is the only enrollment period that allows you to do that with a Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan now if you miss that time or if you find that you made a bad choice and sometimes the information that's available is changed by January one or is not accurate sometimes the companies themselves don't have accurate information so if you find come January that you're not in the right plan not in the best plan for you then you have the open enrollment you have between January 1 and March 31 where you can make one change and one change only you can switch Medicare Advantage plans or you can move from an advantage plan back to original Medicare and get a prescription drug plan and if you wish of course apply for Medicare supplement so January one through March 31 is called open enrollment there is no equivalent election. For Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, Your party prescription drug plans can change between October 15 and December 7 for January. One start in less you qualify for a special enrollment because you moved or your Part D plan went out of business.