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January 6, 2021
What Changes Are Coming to Medicare In 2021?

What Changes Are Coming to Medicare In 2021?

There are several Medicare changes taking place in 2021, and we’ve read through all the fine print to bring you a quick recap.

From the slightly increased Medicare Part B premium to expanded telehealth and COVID-19 benefits, here's what you need to know about Medicare changes in 2021.

1. Increased Medicare Costs

Your costs for Original Medicare, which includes Parts A and B, have increased slightly for 2021.

  • The standard Medicare Part B premium is $148.50
  • The Medicare Part B deductible is $203
  • And the Medicare Part A deductible is $1,484.

If you have a high income, you pay a higher premium for Medicare coverage.

As of 2021, the income thresholds have gone up slightly. For example, if you’re married filing jointly and make more than $176,000, you’ll pay more. Previously, that threshold was $174,000, but the slight increase is to account for inflation.

2. Acupuncture Coverage Updates

Medicare now covers up to 12 acupuncture visits in 90 days for chronic lower back pain. Medicare will cover an additional eight sessions if the beneficiary shows improvement.

3. Expanded Telehealth Benefits

Because of COVID-19, many Medicare beneficiaries prefer to have routine appointments and concerns handled virtually. Medicare has quickly risen to the occasion by expanding its telehealth benefits and relaxing its previously strict requirements.

You can now have regular office visits and consultations via audio or video technology. Medicare also covers virtual services like E-visits and Virtual check-ins.

4. COVID-19 Coverage

Medicare is offering 100% coverage for all COVID-19 testing, including the antibody, or "serology" test. Many experts look forward to a possible vaccine in 2021, and when it does arrive, Medicare will cover it in full.

5. Insulin Savings Program

Starting January 1, 2021, you may be able to get Medicare drug coverage that offers broad access to many types of insulin for no more than $35 for a 30-day supply. This is called the Part D Senior Savings Model, and many drug plans are participating in the program.

6. Medicare Advantage Underwriting Change

In the past, the only health question asked on Medicare Advantage (MA) applications was for End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). With the 21st Century Cures Act, that health question is going away for coverage starting January 1, 2021.

Conclusion

And those are the big Medicare changes to expect in 2021. If you have any questions about how these changes will affect you or your coverage, give us a call at 833-801-7999, and we’ll be happy to help you!

Luke Hockaday
By
Luke Hockaday
Luke Hockaday is a Customer Success Rep here at Medicare Allies. Luke has been helping Medicare-eligible clients with their insurance and retirement-planning needs since 2011. Luke is passionate about 3 things, and 3 things only: senior insurance, football, and food!

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