As each new year brings notable changes in Medicare policies, it is crucial for seniors to stay updated of all changes, for getting the best coverage at the most affordable price.

As we all know, Medicare pertains to the federal health insurance program for all individuals who are 65 years of age or older. However, it is applicable to certain younger people who have disabilities or people suffering from end-stage renal disease.

Here are a few things you should know in 2018:

Changes in Card

The new Medicare card does not display your Social Security number. Your new Medicare card features a unique Medicare number that is specifically designated to you and is referred to as an MBI or Medicare Beneficiary Identifier. This number serves as a replacement for your Social Security number and also guards you against any identity theft or fraudulent activities.

Thanks to these updates, your new card addresses all security concerns with a randomly generated 11 digit number. The number is also going to be used for verifying eligibility for billing purposes and services.

All cards are to be sent in the mail without any renewal or subscription fee.

In case a member is enrolled in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage plan, he can continue using the plan membership card. You will get a new Medicare card with your MBI in case the plan presently uses your Social Security number.

Medicare Part D

The Part D deductible for all patients is going to slightly increase this year, from $400 to $405. Recipients would be glad to notice a $50 increase in the initial coverage limit for Medicare Part D. The changed limit for this year is $3,750. The out-of-pocket threshold for Medicare this year is $5,000. The maximum copay is$3.35 for generic and $8.35 for all remaining drugs.

IRMAA

Members, who have a higher income and hence shell out the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA), are going to observe an increase in the premium.

IRMAA functions in grouped income patterns. The premium surcharges remain the same for the first two tiers but those falling into higher tiers are likely to observe higher premium surcharges this year, as an outcome of the MACRA or the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act.

The tiers three through five experienced changed income levels this year which implies that members may have jumped from paying 50% of Part B costs to as high as 80%.

The Donut Hole

Medicare’s prescription drug benefit also comprise of a coverage gap, which is typically referred to as the donut hole. Under this system, it may be difficult to navigate the coverage of prescription drugs. The coverage is put on a hold once the total-coverage cost threshold is reached. In 2018, Medicare pays the initial $3,750 of prescription drug costs.

Final Thoughts

So far, this year has witnessed quite a few changes for Medicare patients. In case you are an agent or have a Medicare plan, make sure to stay updated of all the changes that you are going to experience in 2018.

If you are looking to find the best quality health insurance and updated information about Florida Medicare Plans, get in touch with us by dialing our toll free number 866-713-3267.

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