RetireMEDiQ strives to keep individuals informed about the latest Medicare news. Each month, we will recap the top information consumers need to know about recent developments in the Medicare industry and how it may affect you.
Plans are Getting Better
One of the notable shifts we will see in 2019 is that Medicare plans will experience the most favorable rate increase from the government in over 15 years. This means that the government will be paying insurance carriers more than it has in over a decade.
While in years’ past, Medicare beneficiaries have been accustomed to reductions in their plans’ benefits, we expect that plans will be as good or better in 2019 than in 2018. This means that the only reason for people to switch to a different Medicare plan in 2019 from the one they are currently on is if they have specific complaints about the plan they are on now.
If you are happy with your current Medicare plan, RetireMEDiQ recommends that you stick with your plan and don’t switch. This is unlike past years when we recommended that you consider switching plans because of annual provider and drug changes.
New Non-Health Benefits to Come
For the first time, non-medical benefits may be available in some plans, which may help Medicare enrollees’ health. We anticipate that some plans will include new and different benefits than in the past, but that they will be favorable.
Medicare Part D Donut Hole Update
As a result of the government moving up changes to the donut hole by a year, the positives seen from the donut hole for 2020 will be achieved in 2019. That’s good news for your wallet if the donut hole applies to you!
Medicare Advantage is Viewed Favorably
All key stakeholder groups view Medicare Advantage plans positively. This includes the government, which is making moves to enhance MA plans; providers, who see it as a positive in terms of their relationship with the insurers; and members, whom surveys have shown rate these plans well. This means that there will be continued growth in Medicare Advantage plans over the course of the next ten years.
Currently, over 40 percent of those eligible for Medicare in Ohio are on this type of plan, and experts are predicting that over 50 percent of these individuals will be on this type of plan by 2025.
We recommend that individuals who will be enrolling in Medicare in 2019 keep an open mind about MA plans. The market will continue to favor this plan type, and there are many advantages of MA plans over Original Medicare.
The Market Remains Stable
Additionally, we don’t anticipate that there will be any interruptions in the market like we’ve seen in the past with a carrier and a provider not continuing their contract. This should give you peace of mind that your plan will continue to meet your needs and budget.
We’d Love to Hear from You!
If you are not yet a RetireMEDiQ client and have questions about what these changes may mean for you as you consider retirement, call our team of licensed Benefit Advisors at 1-866-600-5638.