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Medicare Changes for 2016

medicareEvery year brings little changes to Medicare, and 2016 is no different. Here is a handy summary of the changes this year.

Part B premiums will rise 16% for some Medicare beneficiaries, 0% for others.

Since the federal government’s Consumer Price Index failed to advance on a year-over-year basis across most of 2015, no Social Security cost-of-living adjustment will occur in 2016. When there is no Social Security COLA for a given year, Medicare premiums cannot increase for beneficiaries who have them withheld from Social Security benefits – that is federal law. Because of that law, approximately 30% of Medicare beneficiaries will shoulder the program’s premium increases.1

A federal budget deal made those premium increases less onerous, but they are still significant.

**In 2016, monthly Part B premiums rise 16% to $121.80 for those Medicare recipients that do not have Medicare premiums withheld from Social Security checks.

**Correspondingly, the 5% of beneficiaries that pay high-income surcharges will see those surcharges go up 16% for 2016, in line with the 16% base premium increase.

**About 70% of Medicare recipients will still pay monthly Part B premiums of $104.90 in 2016.2

As usual, deductibles & copayments will increase.

For 2016, deductibles and coinsurance amounts are adjusted as follows:

  • Part A deductible – $28 higher to $1,288
  • Part B deductible – $19 higher to $166
  • Hospitalization copayment for days 61-90 – $7 higher to $322
  • Hospitalization copayment for days 91 & beyond – $14 higher to $644
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Care daily copayment, days 21-100 – $3.50 higher to $1611,3

When it comes to Part D plans, 2016 brings higher premiums & fewer choices.

Will you be one of the 4.4 million Part D plan participants who will see their monthly premiums rise by $10 or more? The Kaiser Family Foundation projects just that for 2016.1

  • KFF believes the most popular Part D plans will hike premiums by about 8% this year.
  • A growing number of Part D plans now have yearly deductibles approaching the $360 limit set by Medicare.
  • The typical Medicare beneficiary will have about 26 Part D plans to choose from this year – not even half the amount of Part D plan choices available to the average Medicare recipient 10 years ago.
  • Across the country, only 886 Part D plans are being offered in 2016 – 11% fewer than in 2015, fewer than at any time since these plans were introduced in 2006. 1

That is a quick summary of Medicare changes for 2016. If you have questions about your Medicare coverage or Medicare enrollment in light of these changes, UPAL’s preferred business partner Carolyn Schultz, CLTC can help. Carolyn specializes in helping individuals navigate the Medicare landscape.  View her Guide to Medicare for more information.

 

 

Citations:

1 – fool.com/retirement/general/2015/12/13/3-changes-to-medicare-in-2016.aspx [12/13/15]

2 – forbes.com/sites/ashleaebeling/2015/11/16/its-official-medicare-part-b-premiums-will-rise-16-in-2016-for-some-seniors/ [11/16/15]

3 – medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/costs-at-a-glance/costs-at-glance.html [12/28/15]

 

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