It is Time to Review Your Medicare Advantage Options!

Medicare Annual Open Enrollment – October 15 through December 7!

During this window of time you have the opportunity, if needed, to change your Medicare Advantage Plan or your Prescription Drug Plan. 

Ask yourself:

  • How has my current plan been performing for me this past year?
  • Will/has my situation or needs change(d)?
  • What is new for 2024 that could affect my plan?

Before I dig into the details…

I’d like to just say that we are fortunate to live in an area with some of the best access to healthcare in the nation! The University of Washington is available, just north up I-5. Plus, other quality healthcare facilities such as Providence and MultiCare, here in Thurston County; Franciscan in Tacoma, as well.

On the other hand, there is a shortage of primary care. So, as you go ahead with any healthcare plan choices, be aware of this challenge. One way you can help yourself is to be flexible… use online doctor appointments and urgent care for quick needs whenever possible. 

 

Did you know? Thanks to companies like Dispatch Health-Thurston County, urgent care can come to your home

 

Looking forward:

Medicare Prescription Drug Changes

Beginning 2024:

  • If you hit a “catastrophic level” in your prescription plan you will pay $0.00 (zero). Previously, you still paid 5%.

 A client who has a prescription costing $10,000 (10K) has been paying 5% of the 10K… moving forward she will pay $0!

  • The “low premium” prescription RX plans are going away. We are seeing a new base low premium of $30-$40 over the next couple of years.

Previously, the prescription RX plans have had a trend of low premium options for folks who do not take many medications; as low as $1.60 to $10.00 per month. Many of my clients are in this type of plan.

 

Medicare Supplement Plan Change

Do you currently have a Medicare Supplement plan, the popular F, G, or maybe the N plan? 

The rates have been jumping upward and there are big pricing differences between carriers!

 Plan G with one carrier is $202.00 per month and is $240.00 with a different one.

 It is worth reviewing to see where your pricing has gone on this Medigap plan.

  

What I See Trending in Medicare Advantage Options

Insurance companies are starting to put on the brakes. making minimal changes, increasing some co-pays, and starting to shift their business model to policies that supply more benefits (”if you pay more premium”.)

 

Why? What’s happening? 

  • The government has announced a subsidy decrease on Medicare Advantage Plans, to the tune of 20%, over the next 3 years. 2024 is the first year of 3 years. 
  • I’ve been working in this specific business for well over 10 years and typically the subsidies have been increasing… NOT ANYMORE.

This means benefits will flatten out this coming year and possibly for the next couple years. As a result, we will see the strong companies persist and the weaker ones start pulling out of areas, raising premiums and co-pays.

This Is a cycle I have seen over my 18 plus years working in the insurance field. The too good to be true plans never make it and the solid companies stay consistent.

Look out for the product rich plans that seem to be too good to be true – they will be making the biggest changes first. Your best bet will be the more stable carriers are making minimal to no changes, holding strong with good co-pays and low premiums, and continuing to offer access to many “extras” such as dental, massage, natural path, acupuncture.

 

It is Time to Review Your Medicare Advantage Options!

This is where Johnson Medicare Solutions can help you! We work year-round as a Medicare broker, partnering with most insurance carriers in our area. We reach out for our clients to find resources that will meet your healthcare needs (I.e. naturopath, acupuncture, doctors, and dentists…) We are available to you, on your time, and where you are.

Finally, if you have not reviewed your plan in detail over the last year or more, we encourage you to contact us. We may be able to better serve you through this review.

 

Thank you, Brian Johnson

 

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