Changes In 2017 Medicare Costs

Changes in 2017 Medicare Costs Ahead

We at Claeys Group wish you a Happy New Year. With the new year comes hopes, dreams, and changes for the individual.

However, when you’re talking about Medicare, the new year does not bring hopes and dreams, but it does bring changes. These changes include increases in Medicare deductibles, copays, and premium. If you are on Medicare, these changes may be significant for you and will be good for you to know—if, simply, to amaze your friends and family with your knowledge.

2017 Medicare Part A Changes

To begin, the Medicare Part A deductible has increased from 2016 to 2017. So, what is Medicare Part A, and what does that deductible mean for you?

Medicare Part A provides coverage for hospitalization, hospice, home health, and skilled nursing. (For more specifics on this coverage, see How Does Medicare Work?) If you have Original Medicare without a supplement, that deductible means that if you enter the hospital, you will pay a deductible of $1,316. This deductible applies for each benefit period hospitalization of days 1-60.

This deductible has been raised from the 2016 deductible of $1,288. That is change number one.

Change number two concerns the Medicare Part A copays. If, for example, you are hospitalized for an extended period, you will pay a per-day copay of $329 for days 61 – 90, which is an increase from the 2016 copay of $322. However, Medicare also covers hospitalization for days 91 – 150, but that experiences comes with a 2017 copay of $658 for each day, while the 2016 per-day copay for that period was $644. (If your head is swirling in an attempt to grasp all of those numbers, hang in there, we will summarize with an easy-to-follow chart soon.)

2017 Medicare Part B Changes

Medicare Part B, which covers medical insurance (including doctor charges, outpatient medical [such as labs, tests, x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and durable medical equipment], preventive services, and ambulance [among other things]), has its own deductible. This deductible, unlike the Part A deductible, is an annual deductible. For 2017, that deductible is $183, while it was $166 in 2016.

After meeting the Part B deductible, the individual with Original Medicare (without a supplement) will pay 20% of the remainder of his Part B costs for the rest of the calendar year. This remains the same as in 2016.

Overview of 2017 Medicare Changes

To see these differences more clearly, see the chart below:

2016 2017
Medicare Part A
Deductible (Days 1 – 60) $1,288 $1,316
Copay: Days 61 – 90 $322 $329
Copay: Days 91 – 150 $644 $658
Medicare Part B
Deductible $166 $183
Copay 20% 20%

 

2017 Medicare Part B Premium

One other change for 2017 is the Medicare Part B premium. This monthly premium goes from $121.80 to $134. (However, anyone enrolling onto Medicare Part B prior to 2016 has been grandfathered at a monthly premium of $104.90.)

What These Changes Mean for You

So, what do these changes mean for you? If you have a Plan F Medicare supplement, none of the Part A and Part B changes (outside of the premium) will affect you, as you will still have zero out of pocket for hospitalization and other medical charges (including doctor charges). If you possess a Plan G supplement, your annual deductible will move from $166 to $183, while other supplements will change according to their gaps in coverage. (Here is a list of supplements and their coverage. To discover which supplement is best for you, see Which Supplement Is Best for You?)

If you have Original Medicare, you will be directly affected by these changes. However, if you possess a Medicare Advantage Plan, these changes will not directly affect you, but they WILL affect Advantage Plans going forward. (And, if you have an Advantage Plan, you may be interested in Keys to Your Best Medicare Advantage Plan.)

Hope for Good Changes Ahead for You

Changes are expected, and Medicare does not disappoint, as it offers changes each year. But, hopefully, any other change you experience in 2017 will be for your very best. We at Claeys Group wish that for you.


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