- January 4, 2021
2021 Medicare Changes
It’s a brand new year and with that comes Medicare changes. Each year Medicare makes changes to their deductibles, premiums, and copays. If you’ve been holding your breath waiting to find out how you’ll be affected there’s no need to worry, we’ve covered it all for you. Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about Medicare changes this year.
Changes to Medicare Part A
Most people with Part A coverage don’t pay a premium. For those who do pay and have worked 30-39 quarters, premiums are increasing by $7 for a total of $259 per month according to the changes outlined by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for 2021. For individuals who have worked under 30 quarters, it’s increasing by $13 for a total of $471 per month. The deductible for each 60 day benefit period has risen by $76 for a new total of $1,484.
Co-insurance has also increased by $19 per day for hospitalized days 61-90 – now a total of $371 per day. After 90 days of hospitalization, Part A members are responsible for $742 per day – an increase of $38 over 2020. Lastly, co-insurance for days 21-100 at a skilled nursing facility is now $185.50, or an increase of $9.50 per day.
Changes to Medicare Part B
Part B premiums are dependent upon income. The income brackets for 2021 have increased to $88,000 for an individual and $176,000 for a couple with fees increasing as income increases beyond those thresholds. For Part B coverage, the premium for people under the income threshold is now $148.50 an increase of only $3.90. Additionally, the deductible for Part B is $203, $5 more than 2020.
Changes to Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage)
Let’s take a look at Medicare changes for Part D recipients. The cost for Medicare Part D fluctuates based on income and provider. This year, however, Part D recipients will see a deductible of around $445. Part D recipients will also pay 25% of the cost for medications until they’ve reached an annual out-of-pocket maximum of $6,550 set for 2021.
Changes to Medicare Advantage
Costs for Medicare Advantage (Part C) are set by private insurance companies and can vary based on income. However, the good news is premiums have gone down an average of $21, making it to historic lows. Other Medicare changes to Medicare Advantage include an additional 2,100 plans to choose from, which means tons of new options for people who were previously limited by their choices.
Additional Medicare Changes
Part D Donut Hole
What is known as “the donut hole” for Part D coverage was closed last year, which meant a smaller percentage of the cost for medications. However, 2021 will see an even tighter closure of the donut hole. The coverage for 2021 will start when recipients and their drug plan have spent $4,130 on covered medications. After that, recipients will pay no more than 25% for the cost of covered medications in all tiers.
In 2020, the government put several protections in place to make sure Medicare recipients can receive the care they need in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. These additional Medicare benefits will carry over into 2021 including:
- No cost for COVID-19 testing
- Part D covers COVID-19 vaccines if and when they’re available
- All medically necessary hospitalizations related to COVID-19 are covered
- Expanded telehealth options
- Required 3-day hospital stay before entering a nursing home has been waived in order to make room in hospitals for critically ill patients