It’s the time of year when Medicare announces changes that affect Medicare beneficiaries and the insurance plans they own. Like most years, the 2017 changes are small and incremental. We will discuss them below and how they will affect your out of pocket exposure.
(It’s important to note that when the officials at CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) make changes, it affects all insurance plans – both new and old. It doesn’t matter when you purchased your coverage – all plans must abide by any new cost sharing rules.)
2017 Deductibles, Coinsurance and Out-of-Pocket Expenses
||2016 AMOUNT||2017 AMOUNT||$ INCREASE|
|Medicare Part B Premiums (For Most People)||$104.90||$109.00||$4.10|
|Medicare Part B Premiums (New Enrollees)||$121.80||$134.00||$12.20|
|Part A Deductible (Inpatient Hospital)||$1,288||$1,316||$28|
|Part B Deductible (Physician’s Services)||$166||$183||$17|
|Hospital Coinsurance Days 61-90||$322||$329||$7|
|Hospital Coinsurance Days 91-150||$644||$658||$14|
|Skilled Nursing Facility Coinsurance||$161||$164.50||$3.50|
|High Deductible Plan F||$2,180||$2,200||$20|
Medicare Part B Premiums in 2017
Medicare Part B premiums are increasing just slightly in 2017 for the vast majority of Americans. This 3.9% increase from $104.90 to $109.00 per month affects about 70% of those who are Medicare eligible. This is because Medicare has a a hold-harmless provision that limits the increases for beneficiaries who are already enrolled in Medicare. Those who enrolled in 2016 will see the same percentage increase albeit on a higher starting number. Their rates will increase to $127 from 121.80 – also roughly a 3.9% increase.
Those who are new to Medicare in 2017 will pay $134 per month. This amount (and all others listed) can be more for high income earners. The Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) requires individuals making more than $85,000 – and couples filing jointly making over $170,00 – to pay more for Part B. There are four tiers to the IRMAA payment schedule. You can view them here.
Medicare Part A and Part B Deductibles
Most of our clients ask about the Part B deductible each year. The good news: It’s only increasing from $166 to $183. This is an important amount for those who own Medicare supplements not covering the Part B deductible – like Plan G and Plan N.
Plans G and N continue to be some of our most popular policies because of the small Part B deductible. In many cases, the lower premiums with G and N more than make up for the deductible and/or office copay amounts.
Like most years, the Part A deductible (Inpatient Hospital Care) is only increasing slightly to $1,316 – a year over year increase of $28. Most supplements that we see purchased cover the Part A deductible, so this figure is not quite as important. Plans F, G and N all cover this gap.
What is the 2017 Plan F High Deductible Amount?
High Deductible Plan F is also popular due to its low premiums and known out of pocket exposure. The deductible will only be increasing slightly to $2,200 in 2017. That’s a modest $20 increase from 2016.
Plan F is the only plan currently offered that comes in a high deductible version. In other words, there is not High Deductible Plan D, G, or N at this time. In many states, HD Plan F will offer the lowest monthly premiums of any Medicare supplement for sale.
Medicare Supplement Plans K and L Maximums
Plans K and L were introduced in 2010 as part of the Medicare Mordernizaton Act. In our minds, these plans most closely resemble Medicare Advantage policies. They have larger out of pocket exposure than more traditional plans like F, G and N. Unlike Medicare Advantage, Plans K and L do not have network restrictions however.
CMS announced small increases in 2017 to the out of pocket maximums for these two unique plans. The out of pocket will be $5,120 for Plan K and $2,560 for Plan L.
Contact Us For Quotes And Assistance
We are a full service, independent insurance agency. We license direct with all of our carriers and can help you enroll (at no additional cost) with the Medicare insurance plan the best fits your needs and budget.
We work with many, many carriers offering Medicare supplement, Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug coverage. Contact us today to compare your best options.