It’s time to start making decisions for your healthcare coverage in 2020. The Annual Enrollment Period is NOW and only runs through December 7.
Thankfully, as you’re looking through your options for coverage next year, you may notice that while prices are decreasing, plan quality is increasing!
More Four and Five-Star Plans Available in 2020
CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) released a memo on October 11 which states that “seniors will have access to more high-quality Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans in 2020.”
What does this mean?
CMS uses a Medicare “star rating” system for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans that determines whether or not a plan is doing its job and whether or not it can stay on the market. Plans that consistently receive poor ratings (one or two stars) will eventually be removed from the market.
Plans are given a star rating between one and five, with one being “poor” and five being “excellent.”
Medicare Advantage plans are rated on the following factors:
- Level of access to preventive services (including annual physical exams and screenings)
- Care coordination
- How often members receive treatment for long-term conditions
- Current member satisfaction
- Plan performance in comparison to the previous year
- Customer service quality
Part D plans are rated on the following:
- Number of member issues with the plan
- How many people left over one year
- Patient safety while using prescriptions in the plan
- Accuracy of pricing
- Quality of care
- Customer service quality
More and more Medicare Advantage and Part D plan carriers are entering the market every year, meaning there is more competition. More competition means that more plans are trying to be the most valuable to be able to compete. That’s why even though costs may be going down, plan ratings are still increasing.
If you plan on meeting with a licensed agent during this year’s Annual Enrollment Period, be sure to ask about four and five-star plans in your area!
Medicare Advantage Premiums Decreasing
CMS reported in late September 2019 that “Medicare Advantage premiums are expected to decline by 23 percent from 2018.”
The average Medicare Advantage premium cost in 2019 was $26.87. This is expected to drop to $23 for 2020.
That means that you might be able to get a whole host of health benefits covered for just $23/month.*
*Keep in mind that when you have Medicare Advantage, you still have to pay your Part B premium ($144.60+ in 2020). Additionally, costs can vary based on location and other factors. This may not represent plans available to you.
Remind me. What is Medicare Advantage?
You can enroll in Medicare Advantage as an addition to your Original Medicare coverage. Since Medicare Advantage plans are owned and operated by private insurance companies and are not the same as the government Medicare program, the coverage is a bit different.
Medicare Advantage plans are able to cover things that Original Medicare is not, such as fitness programs, dental, vision, and prescription drugs.
Medicare Advantage plans might come with copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles, but the average premium for 2020 is expected to be $23/month.
If you can afford to add a Medicare Advantage premium, the benefits may save you from thousands of dollars in healthcare costs later on.
$0 Premiums and Special Needs Plans
Some people may even be eligible for a $0 premium Medicare Advantage plan. Others still may be eligible for low-cost Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans.
There are three types of Special Needs Plans: DSNP, ISNP, and CSNP.
CSNPs are Chronic Special Needs Plans and are for people who have certain chronic conditions and need additional coverage. ISNPs are Institutional Special Needs Plans and are for people who have been living in an institution such as an inpatient medical facility for 90 days or more. DSNPs are Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans and are for people who are dual-eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.
How to Get a Low-Cost, Five-Star Medicare Advantage Plan in 2020
Our licensed agents across the nation are contracted and certified to sell a number of Medicare Advantage plans. An agent can sit down with you and show you all of the top-rated plans available in your area and help you select which one is best for you.
To get in touch with a licensed agent, call 844-431-1832 or click here.