We’ve had quite a few clients call us to ask about the new premiums they’ll be paying in 2022. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) just announced those updates on November 12. The biggest concern we’ve been hearing is the increase in the Medicare Part B premium. In 2022, the premium is jumping 14.5%, which makes the monthly payment $170.10.
We’re always looking for ways to save our clients money, and this year is no different. We’ve got three ways you can save on your healthcare expenses in 2022, including a way to save on that Part B premium.
Enroll in Medicare Supplements Plan G or N
A Medicare supplement is designed to fill in the “gaps” left by Original Medicare – that’s why these policies are also referred to as Medigap plans. Medigap plans are sold by private insurance companies to any Medicare beneficiary who is already enrolled in both Medicare Parts A and B. Each Medigap plan is the same, no matter which company you enroll with.
Plans G and N are the most popular because they offer the most comprehensive coverage. (Plan F offers even more coverage but is only available to individuals who turned 65 prior to January 1, 2020.) Plan G covers nearly every cost that Original Medicare (Parts A and B) leaves behind, other than premiums and the Part B deductible, which is $233 in 2022. Because of its comprehensive coverage, the plan has higher premiums than other options.
Plan N offers almost as much coverage. There are just a couple of small differences. First, Plan N does not cover and Part B excess charges. An “excess charge” is something that you could be billed for if your provider does not accept Medicare assignments. This excess charge could equate to up to 15% in additional fees for services. There are also copays associated with Medigap Plan N. You’ll have a $20 copay when visiting a doctor’s office and a $50 copay for an emergency room visit. (That copay is waived if you are admitted as an inpatient.) While Plan N does offer slightly less coverage than Plan G, it also has lower premiums.
- The biggest concern we’ve been hearing is the increase in the Medicare Part B premium.
Enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan with a Part B Give Back Program
Some Medicare Advantage plans have a Part B premium “give Back” or premium reduction option as part of the plan. This is exactly what it sounds like. If you enroll in one of these plans, the insurance company will either partially or fully cover your Part B premium. You’ll find this information in the plans “evidence of coverage” section.
If you enroll in one of these plans, you are not given a check for the Part B premium. Instead, the reduced premium will be calculated into your monthly Social Security benefits before it is transferred into your checking account.
Not everyone is a candidate for one of these Medicare Advantage plans as they are not offered in every state or county. Check with your licensed agent to find out which Medicare Advantage plans are available in your area.
Consider Changing your Part D Prescription Drug Plan
Depending on when you’re reading this, you may be eligible to make changes to your Part D prescription drug plan. You can make changes to a current plan each year during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which happens from October 15 through December 7. Part D plans can change every year. Shorty before AEP begins, your current plan will send you a document called the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC). The ANOC will detail how your plan is changing in the upcoming year.
If the changes negatively impact your coverage, you could find a new plan. Also, your health changes over time. Over the year, you may have prescriptions changed or added to your medication list. You should always have your plan reviewed during the AEP to find out if there are other plans that could serve you better. There may be a plan that covers more of the cost of your prescriptions, one that works better with your pharmacy, or one that just has a lower premium for the same coverage. Never ignore AEP!
Don’t hesitate – give us a call today and schedule your consultation. We’ll look at all the options you may have to save money in 2022. And don’t forget, we’re quickly running out of time to make changes to your Medicare Advantage and/or prescription drug plan, so call today!