Medicare Benefits: What Changed in 2020?

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Following the start of the new decade, many people have been asking how Medicare and Medicare eligibility have changed in 2020. If you’re wondering how to apply for Medicare or how things have changed since the beginning of the year, then read on for all the details.

Notable Highlights and Changes

Let’s go over some of the notable changes. Part B’s standard premium increased to $144.60 per month, while the Part B deductible increased to $198. Meanwhile, Part A premiums, deductible and coinsurance have all gone up in 2020, though not in a standardized way like Part B.

Medigap Plans C and F aren’t able to be purchase by newly-eligible Medicare recipients as of 2020, meaning that new Medicare recipients will have fewer options available to them. However, the Medicare Plan Finder tool has been upgraded for the first time since 2010.

For the first time in the history of the program, Part B and Part D income brackets have been updated for inflation. Now, the high-income bracket starts at $87,000 instead of $85,000 like it used to. Additionally, Medicare Advantage enrollment is likely to increase continually over the next few years.

The ever-frustrating Part D doughnut hole has been closed. A standard plan’s maximum deductible, meanwhile, has gone up to $435. At the same time, the threshold for “catastrophic coverage” phase, which makes out-of-pocket expenses significantly lower, has gone up. Now, expenses have to crest over $6,350 to be considered “catastrophic.”

Upgraded Plan Finder Tool

Some experts worry that the new plan finder tool rolled out in 2020 could be confusing to many newly-eligible Medicare recipients. While the tool is now more advanced, reflecting the growing tech knowledge of Medicare-eligible recipients, some fear that the high-tech and modern tool could be confusing to people used to the old plan finder.

Notably, the new tool requires recipients to sign in to their MyMedicare account to compare plans and search for the coverage they want. This means that people approaching eligibility could find it harder to search the site and find the coverage that works for them. Likewise, this could cause issues with privacy for older recipients who just need to make a few adjustments or want to check their plans.