Medicare Supplement Plan Options to Change for People First Eligible for Medicare in 2020

Many Medicare beneficiaries rely on Medicare Supplement plans to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Medicare. Beginning in 2020, Medicare Supplement plan options will change for people first becoming eligible for Medicare.

Who is affected by MACRA?

Recently, you may have heard the term “MACRA” in connection with Medicare Supplement plans. MACRA stands for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. This federal law affects people who become eligible for Medicare on or after Jan. 1, 2020. These individuals are often referred to as “newly eligibles.”
Under MACRA, if you’re a newly eligible individual, you will no longer be able to enroll in plans that cover the Part B deductible. That means Plans C, F, and High-deductible F will not be options for you. Instead, you’ll be able to enroll in Plans A, B, D, G, High-deductible G, K, L, M, and N, all of which include some type of cost-sharing component.
Jenny Smith, product manager at American Republic Insurance Company, says it’s not too early to understand the options that will be available to you.
“If you’ll first become eligible for Medicare in 2020, you might want to start looking at the benefits of the Medicare Supplement plans that will be available to you,” she says. “It’s important to consider benefits, out-of-pocket costs, and premium when finding the right plan for you.”

What about everyone else?

Of course, many people will become eligible for Medicare before 2020. They’re sometimes referred to as “not newly eligible.” If this is you, the MACRA legislation does not affect you in any way. You won’t lose your plans, and you don’t need to switch plans. If you’re already on a Medicare Supplement plan, including Plans C, F, or High-deductible F, you can stay on it. You can even enroll in Plans C, F, or High-deductible F after January 2020 because you were already eligible for Medicare before then.

To learn more about MACRA, download a free PDF from American Health Insurance Plans national association.

Photo credit: iStock