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Coverage Changes in Coming to Medicare in 2019

Sign post that points to confusion on Medicare Options

April of 2018, Medicare recipients will start to receive new Medicare ID cards that no longer have a Social Security number displayed on them. This is to help prevent fraud and identity theft among seniors. As required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) all beneficiaries will have a new Medicare ID card by April 2019. The new cards will display a random ID number and you can shred the old card.

Then the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA 2018) will help close the donut hole one for brand name drugs. This means that beneficiaries will only pay 25% of the cost of brand name drugs. The cost of closing the donut hole for brand name prescriptions is being shifted to the drug manufactures instead of insurance companies or beneficiaries.

So many good things are happening in 2019, it only makes sense that there is some less than desirable news. A new premium bracket for the highest-income Part B and Part D enrollees with go into effect. Under the BBA 2018 enrollees with an income of $500,000 or more ($750,000 for married couples) will pay a higher premium for Part B and Part D coverage.

Annually by September 30th, Medicare Advantage recipients will receive an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and Evidence of Coverage (EOC) from their existing insurance carrier for their Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription drug plan providers.

CMS shares plan changes for the following year in October, several months before the new year. Medicare.gov is an awesome resource for Medicare beneficiaries, you can use it to compare plans, look up information and learn more about Medicare.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your Medicare coverage review and prescription drug policy.

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