By Eileen Doherty, MS ~
Prescription drug benefit changes, increases in deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance, changes to Medicare Advantage members and new benefits will again be the subject of the annual Colorado Gerontological Society Medicare Virtual Events. Monday.
Open enrollment for Medicare Prescription Drugs and Medicare Advantage runs from October 15 to December 7, 2021. During open enrollment, you can switch plans if you wish.
People who receive a Medicare supplement have an initial enrollment period or a special enrollment period when they claim Medicare benefits, rather than an annual open enrollment period. Beneficiaries who have a Medicare supplement do not need to make any changes to their Part A and B coverage.
Projections indicate that the Medicare Part B premium will be increased significantly, perhaps up to 15% or more, unless Congress takes action. This year, Medicare Part B is $ 148.50 per month for people earning less than $ 87,500 per year. Although some beneficiaries feel unable to cope with this substantial increase, dropping part B is not a good option as most people face doctor visits, labs, x-rays and more. minimal health and welfare care.
Likewise, Medicare Part D is also increasing. The average premium is expected to be around $ 33, an increase of about 4.9%. The annual deductible increases to $ 480. Total disbursements will increase from $ 500 to $ 7,050 during the initial coverage period and the donut hole. Co-payments for generic and branded drugs in the Donut Hole will vary. The maximum cost of drugs covered by disaster coverage will be $ 9.85 for brand name drugs and $ 3.95 for generics.
There is a lot of talk in Congress about major changes in Medicare such as adding benefits for vision, hearing and dental care, lowering the age from 65 to 60, and more. Other proposals being considered include increased government involvement in purchasing prescriptions from drug companies, adding coverage for blood tests to check for cancer, and changing payment for all vaccines by Medicare Part B to reduce non-reimbursable expenses. costs. However, until Congress takes action, none of these initiatives are in place.
Join us for Medicare Monday to learn more about the 2022 changes in Medicare on October 18, November 1 or 15, and for the New to Medicare sessions for people signing up for Medicare on October 25 or November 8. .
Society again offers Wednesday lunch and learns from discussions about prescription drug plans, Medicare Advantage and Medicare supplement plans, Medicare and Medicaid coordination, using Medicare.gov online to manage benefits and the use of telehealth for routine health care needs.
In addition, the Company will offer one-on-one counseling sessions, prescription drug counseling sessions in conjunction with the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy, benchmarking opportunities with major insurance companies, and resources on the front porch at 1129 N Pennsylvania, Denver for more information on Medicare and other programs.
Register at www.senioranswers.org or call 303-333-3482 for 1-855-294-3971 (toll free) if you need help registering for the virtual event or if you plan to contact us by phone to obtain the phone number and access codes.
Eileen Doherty, MS is the Executive Director of the Colorado Gerontological Society. His areas of expertise include management and administration of non-profit organizations, education and training on issues related to older people, advocacy and policy development on issues related to people. seniors, and clinical practice working with seniors and families to manage their lives over the past several years. She has been a Director of the Society since 1982. She teaches non-profit management at Fort Hays State University.