Being adaptable in this business drives success. And with the upcoming Medicare changes in 2020, you’ll need to be agile in preparing your portfolio and your clients to gain a competitive edge.
What Will Be the Medicare Changes in 2020?
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans C and F will not be available to beneficiaries who become eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. These 2020 Medigap changes are a part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). This Act prohibits the sale of plans that cover the Part B deductible ($185 in 2019) to newly-eligible beneficiaries.
The goal behind the change is to reduce federal spending. Beneficiaries may be more cautious about using healthcare services if they have to pay the Part B deductible. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that eliminating Plans C and F for new enrollees will reduce spending by $400 million between 2020 and 2025.
What Do 2020 Medicare Changes Mean for Your Clients?
Clients currently enrolled in Medicare Supplement Plans C and F, and those clients who become eligible for Medicare prior January 1, 2020, will have “grandfathered” status. This means they can keep their plan and continue to buy these plans after 2020. Currently, Plans C and F are the two guaranteed issue plans for newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries. But beneficiaries eligible after 2020 will instead have Plans D and G as their guaranteed issue options.
These changes also mean that the high-deductible Plan F will not be available to newly eligible beneficiaries in 2020. Instead, they will have the option to purchase a new high-deductible Plan G. Both existing and newly eligible beneficiaries can enroll in a high-deductible Plan G beginning on January 1, 2020.
Preparing Your Clients: Comparing Plans F and C With Plans G and D
You want to help clients evaluate their long-term needs to prepare for 2020 Medicare Supplement changes. For example, a client may want coverage for the Part B deductible and the flexibility to visit doctors who don’t accept Medicare assignments. In this case, he or she would want to enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan F before January 1, 2020, if eligible. Why? Plan F covers both the Part B deductible and Part B excess charges. Part B excess charges are the amounts charged by a provider above the Medicare-approved rate.
However, if coverage for the Part B deductible isn’t a priority, or if the applicant became eligible on or after January 1, 2020, Plan G is the next best option because it also covers excess charges. Plan G offers identical benefits to Plan F, excluding coverage of the Medicare part B deductible.
Likewise, Plan D offer identical benefits to Plan C, except that Plan D doesn’t cover the Part B deductible. Both Plans C and D do not include coverage for excess charges, which typically means they have a lower monthly premium than Plan F or G. Clients who only want to use providers who accept Medicare assignment may want to decide between Plans C and D to save on costs.
Excelsior Can Help You Prepare for Medigap Changes in 2020
Preparing for changes coming to Medicare in 2020 can give you an advantage for the next enrollment season. You should start by evaluating your portfolio to ensure you can offer clients access to competitive Medigap options—whether it be Plans C and F for those eligible prior to January 1, 2020 or Plans D and G for those who will be eligible on or after this date.
Excelsior can help enhance your portfolio with access to plans from some of the strongest national and regional Medicare Supplement carriers in the business. Plus, we offer mobile-friendly Medicare quoting technology that makes it easy to compare multi-carrier quotes with your clients. Preparing for Medicare changes in 2020 now can help increase your business later. Engage with Excelsior to get started!