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How are Medicare benefits changing for 2021?


  •   2 min reads
How are Medicare benefits changing for 2021?

Roughly 1 percent of Medicare Part A enrollees pay premiums; the rest get it for free based on their work history or a spouse’s work history. Part A premiums have trended upwards over time and they increased again for 2020 although they are actually lower in 2020 than they were in 2010.For 2021, the Part A premium for people with 30+ (but less than 40) quarters of work history is projected to be $263/month, up from $252/month in 2020.

How much is the Medicare Part A coinsurance for 2021?

The Part A deductible covers the enrollee’s first 60 inpatient days during a benefit period. If the person needs additional inpatient coverage during that same benefit period, there’s a daily coinsurance charge. For 2021, it’s $371 per day for the 61st through 90th day of inpatient care (up from $352 per day in 2020).

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For care received in skilled nursing facilities, the first 20 days are covered with the Part A deductible that was paid for the inpatient hospital stay that preceded the stay in the skilled nursing facility. [Medicare only covers skilled nursing facility care if the patient had an inpatient hospital stay of at least three days before being transferred to a skilled nursing facility, although this requirement has been waived for people affected by the COVID pandemic.

Medigap Plans C and F cover the Part B deductible ($203 in 2021) in full. But other Medigap plans require enrollees to pay the Part B deductible themselves. The idea behind the change is to discourage overutilization of services by ensuring that enrollees have to pay at least something when they receive outpatient care, as opposed to having all costs covered by a combination of Medicare Part B and a Medigap plan.

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How are Medicare Advantage premiums changing for 2021?

According to CMS, the average Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) premiums for 2021 is about $21/month for 2021, down from $23/month in 2020. Average Advantage premiums have been declining for the last several years, and the average premium for 2021 is the lowest its been since 2007.

But when we only consider Medicare Advantage plans that include Part D prescription drug coverage (MA-PDs), a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis found that the average premium in 2020 was about $36/month MA-PDs continue to be more expensive than the average of all Medicare Advantage plans.

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