It’s almost a new year which means changes to the Medicare Part A and B deductible amounts for 2012 are here. The Part A deductible is increasing by a nominal amount, but the Part B deductible is decreasing.
You read that correctly, the Part B deductible is going down which means that some Medicare supplement insurance plans will become more attractive based based on their monthly premiums. We’ll address that benefit later in this post.
|Medicare Feature||2011 Amount||2012 Amount||Percent Change|
|Part A Deductible (Inpatient Hospital)||$1,132||$1,156||2.12%|
|Part B Deductible (Physician’s Services & Supplies)||$162||$140||(15.71%)|
|Hospital Coinsurance Days 61-90||$283||$289||2.21%|
|Hospital Coinsurance Days 91-150 (lifetime reserve)||$566||$578||2.21%|
|Skilled Nursing Facility Coinsurance||$141.50||$144.50||2.21%|
The most significant change to the Medicare deductibles for 2012 is the somewhat dramatic decrease for the Part B deductible out-of-pocket. This lower amount makes plans that do not already cover the Part B deductible more attractive. Typically the difference in premiums and coverage will dictate your purchase.
One such Medigap option available for purchase is Plan G. Plan G covers everything that Plan F does except for the Part B deductible. If Plan G happened to be $300 less (as can be the case) per year than Plan F and Plan F only covers $140 more in costs, then Plan G is a wise choice. Plan N might also fall into this category if you live in a state (Ohio for instance) that does not allow for Part B Excess charges.
The Medicare supplement Plan F high deductible amount is also increasing in 2012. The deductible was $2,000 in 2011 and will be $2,070 for 2012. This is not too significant of a change if you already own this plan or if you are considering purchasing it.
The premiums associated with High Deductible Plan F are usually very inexpensive and can be a good choice if you are comfortable with a little more out-of-pocket exposure. It is important to remember if you wish later to enroll in a more comprehensive Medigap plan, some medical underwriting may be required with almost all insurance companies.
If you own High Deductible Plan J (no longer sold from any company by law) then your deductible will also be increasing to $2,070 f0r 2012.
Medicare Part B monthly premiums will be $99.90 for most beneficiaries in 2011. This is slightly more for those who have been paying $96.40, but slightly less than was originally projected by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid services earlier in the year.
Medicare Part B premiums are means adjusted however and will be higher if you reach certain income levels. For individuals the percentage increases start with an adjusted gross income of $85,000 and for those who file jointly the increase begins at $170,000 of AGI.
Prescription Part D premiums will also be higher if you are earning the above listed amounts or higher. If you are turning age 65 and still employed with access to employer group coverage, it is wise to weigh all of your options before automatically signing up for Medicare Part B. Depending on the size of your group, it may be necessary to enroll in Part B however.
Hyers and Associates is a full service, independent agency specializing in Medicare supplement insurance.
We work in in several states and help consumers enroll in the Medigap and Part D plan of their choice direct – at no additional cost.