Medicare Part B Application Download

Medicare Part B Premium 2021

Discover how to avoid up to a 25% increase in Medicare Part B 2021 premiums. You could save over $400 per year! People new to Medicare can lower their 2021 costs by doing the following:

  1. Enroll in Medicare Part B before November 1, 2020.
  2. Have your 2020 Part B premium of $144.60 withdrawn from your Social Security benefits for at least two months.

By taking the actions above, you limit the rise in Medicare Part B 2021 premiums to no more than the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) of 1.3% in 2021. The Medicare Hold Harmless Provision restricts Part B premium increases to protect your social security benefits. COLA gives you a 1.3% increase in social security benefits, which pays any increase in Medicare Part B premium in 2021. 

Medicare Part B Premium Costs in 2021

Medicare Part B Premium 2021 - concerned seniors

However, if you pay your Medicare Part B premium directly or have Medicaid pay them, you do not qualify for the hold-harmless provision. Thus, you could see up to a 25% increase in Part B premiums in 2021. For example, your $144.60 premium could go up to $180.75 in 2021. Since you pay this increased premium every month, your increased annual cost could be as high as $433.80.

Congress Caps Medicare Part B Premium for 2021

According to a CNBC report, the Senate passed a short-term funding bill signed by President Trump that limits the 2021 Part B premium increase to 25%. This bill is inconsequential for most Medicare beneficiaries because they already have Part B premium deducted from their Social Security benefits, which has a 2021 COLA cap of 1.3%.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased Part B medical costs. According to the CDC, the percentage of visits to emergency departments or outpatient providers for COVID-like illness (CLI) has increased between March 1 and October 10, 2020. The red line shows CLI increases from 6.25% to 20.25%. Thus, coronavirus illness has increased Part B medical costs in 2020.

CDC - COVID illness report 2020

The increase in COVID 2020 medical costs may drive up Part B premiums in 2021. The congressional 25% cap will help prevent a spike in premiums.

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Cost of Living Adjustment 2021

Cost of Living Increase in 2021

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will increase the cost of living adjustment (COLA) by 1.3% in 2021. This COLA increase relates to a slight rise in the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI-W). Over the last 12 months ending August 2020, the CPI-W has increased by 1.3%, with food prices rising 4.1%, energy prices down 9%, and airline fares fell by 23.2%. United Airlines planned to cut more than 16,000 jobs and will now cut 13,000 jobs. SSA will mail COLA notices in December to retirement, survivors, disability beneficiaries, and SSI recipients.

Approximately 70 million Americans will see a 1.3 percent increase in their Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments in 2021.

blog.ssa.gov
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Happy senior receives COLA notice in the mail

Higher At-Home Food Costs

Cost of Living Adjustment 2021 - Senior at empty meat shelves
Where’s the beef? Increased demand for food at home results in supply chain disruption and empty grocery store shelves.

During the coronavirus pandemic in April 2020, States shut-down and restaurants closed. As a result, the high demand for groceries disrupted the food supply chain. Food distribution was not able to quickly shift from restaurants to grocery stores. Consequently, the cost of food at home rose by 4.6 percent!

Food shortages led to grocery stores with empty shelves. For example, if you could find eggs, they would be the most expensive organic eggs and cost about three times as much as generic eggs. Many meatpacking plant employees became infected with COVID-19. As a result, many meatpacking plants closed or operated at limited capacity creating meat shortages. I remember going to a grocery store meat section and seeing nothing but empty shelves.

COLA comparison 2017 – 2021

Cost of Living Adjustment 2021 chart

How does a 1.3% increase in the 2021 Cost of Living Adjustment compare to the previous four years? In 2016, COLA was zero. Since then, COLA has increased to .3% in 2017, 2% in 2018, to a high of 2.8% in 2019. Then COLA began decreasing to 1.6% in 2020 and 1.3% in 2021.

Social Security Taxes and Benefits in 2021

High-income earners may pay more social security taxes in 2021. The maximum taxable earnings will increase $5,100 from $137,700 in 2020 to $142,800 in 2021. However, the 2021 tax rate for social security and medicare will remain the same as in 2020.

People who reach full retirement age in 2021 will earn an extra $137/month. Your maximum social security benefit will increase from $3,011/month in 2020 to $3,148/month in 2021. View all 2021 Social Security changes.

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best medicare supplement plan 2021

Best Medicare Supplement Plan 2021

What is the Best Medicare Supplement Plan for 2021?

With 2021 fast approaching, Robert Bache gives his recommendation for the best Medicare Supplement Plan. Medicare Open Enrollment, also called Annual Election Period (AEP), begins October 15 and ends December 7, 2020. Watch the video to discover which Medicare Plan Robert Bache recommends for the upcoming AEP. In the video, you will learn:

  • Historically, his Medigap Plan recommendations have been “right on” since 2012.
  • How this most comprehensive Medigap Plan works.
  • Discover how this plan saves you on monthly premiums and is a better value than Plan F.

Furthermore, Robert compares Plan N to the best Medicare Supplement Plan he recommends in 2021. Watch the video and find out how Plan N compares. 

Medigap Plans F, N, and G

best medicare supplement plan 2021
Which Medigap Plan is best for you in 2021?

Which Medigap Plan F, N, or G is best for you in 2021? To determine the best plan for you, we will consider the following three factors:

  • Eligibility – who is and who is not eligible?
  • Coverage – what are the benefit differences?
  • Costs – what are the cost difference?

For Medicare Plans F, N, and G, we will determine whether you are eligible or not and compare plan benefits and costs.

Medigap Plan F Eligibility

Suppose you have Medigap Plan F before January 1, 2020. In that case, you can continue to buy Plan F. However, anyone new to Medicare in 2020 is not eligible and can not enroll in Plan F. In other words, if you turn age 65 in 2020, you can not buy Plan F.

However, if you turned 65 before January 1, 2020, and enrolled in Plan F, you can keep it! (Medicare.gov eligibility restrictions applies to Medigap Plans C and F.)

Medigap Plan F Eligibility - senior ladies birthday cake
Best Medicare Supplement Plan 2021 Plan N and Plan G Eligibility

Medigap Plan N and Plan G Eligibility

To be eligible for any Medicare Supplement Plan, you must have Part A and Part B. Moreover, anyone eligible for a Medigap Plan is also eligible for Plan G and Plan N. Unlike Plan F, you are eligible to enroll in Plan N or Plan G whenever you turn 65 in 2020. 

You can enroll in a Medigap Plan during your initial 7-month open enrollment period. It begins three months before you turn 65, continues the month of your birthday, and ends three months after your birthday. During this period, you have guaranteed issue rights!

When you turn 65 and enroll in a Medigap Plan, you are guaranteed the following:

  • No medical underwriting questions
  • No medical disqualification – all medical conditions qualify
  • You pay the same premium as a healthy senior – even if you have health problems

However, if you do not enroll during your initial open enrollment period, you must answer medical underwriting questions. Furthermore, you can be medically disqualified or pay more for health problems. To get your Medigap Plan quote, call Senior Healthcare Direct at 1-855-368-4717.

Best Medicare Supplement Plans in 2021

The best Medigap Plans in 2021 recommended by Robert Bache is Plan G because it has the greatest value. It provides the same comprehensive coverage as Plan F at a much lower monthly premium. If you are eligible for Plan F, it has the highest monthly premium.

Plan F is a “first-dollar” plan because Medicare pays the first dollar once you pay the expensive monthly premium. With Plan F, you do not pay the Part B deductible.

However, with Plan G, you pay the $198 Part B deductible in 2020, and you save several hundred in premiums per year. As MedicareBob says in his video, “You come out ahead” with Plan G coverage.

Best Medicare Supplement Plan 2021 - MedicareBob why plan G is a greater value than Plan F

Best Medigap Plans Coverage and Costs

The Best Medigap Plans chart compares the coverage and costs of plans F, N, and G. The green checkbox covers that benefit 100%. The red checkbox does not cover that benefit. Use this chart to compare Medigap benefits and the differences in coverage and costs.

Why Plan G is the best Medigap Plan

When you compare Medigap benefits of Plan F and G, the only difference is the Part B deductible. If you have Plan G, you pay a one-time annual Part B deductible. Since Plan G has lower premiums, you will save much more than the Part B deductible throughout the year.

So why pay more for Plan F when Plan G has the same coverage benefits? There is absolutely no reason to pay more for Plan F. Therefore, the best Medicare Supplement Plan for 2021 is Plan G.

Medigap Plan N coverage and costs

Medigap Plan N is a lower-cost alternative to Plan G. It has the same comprehensive coverage benefits as Plan G, except for Part B excess charges. Consequently, any medical provider who does not accept Medicare assignment can charge you up to 15% more than the Medicare-approved price. 

Furthermore, anytime you have an outpatient doctor’s office visit, you owe $15 copayment with Plan N. Moreover, you have up to a $50 copayment for every outpatient visit to the emergency room.

Medigap Plan N coverage and cost - Hospital Outpatient

Shop the Best Medigap Plans

As a Medicare insurance broker, Senior Healthcare Direct can shop the best Medigap Plans with all the top A-rated carriers. We save you money by comparing prices with many insurance providers. You can shop for the best 2021 Medicare Supplement Plans by calling Senior Healthcare Direct at 1-855-368-4717 or click the button to get your free quote!

Best Medicare Supplement Plan 2021 - get quote button

Switch Medigap Plans

Get a Medigap Plan for less money

In this MedicareBob video, Robert Bache explains when you can switch Medigap Plans and save money. Watch the video and find out when you can shop for Medicare Supplement insurance. Moreover, discover how Medicare standardized lettered plans make it easy for you to compare prices. For example, you could get the same Medigap Plan for less money.

Switching Medigap Plans

Alternatively, you could switch to a different Medicare Supplement plan. For example, you could save hundreds in monthly premiums by switching from Plan F to Plan G. Senior Healthcare direct makes it easy for you to shop and save on Medigap plans. Whether you want to shop for a lower price and keep your Medigap Plan or switch to a different Medicare Supplement Plan, Senior Healthcare Direct can find you the best price. 

Call 1-855-368-4717 or click the get quote button. Learn more about when you can shop for Medicare Supplement Plans.

Switch Medigap Plans get quote button

Medigap Underwriting Questions

Happy seniors can switch Medigap Plans with no underwriting questions.

You can switch Medigap Plans without answering medical underwriting questions during your initial Open Enrollment Period. The first three months before you turn 65, the month you turn 65, and three months after you turn 65, you can switch Medigap Plans. For example, two months before your turn 65, you may choose Plan F. Then, a month after you turn 65, you can switch to Plan G.

However, after your initial Open Enrollment Period, you will have to answer medical underwriting questions unless you live in a State with a birthday rule. The states of Oregon and California have Medigap Birthday Rules.

A licensed agent will ask you for your current height and weight. Anyone who is severely underweight or overweight will be denied. Another underwriting question is, “Do you require assistance for activities of daily living?” If you are unable to perform certain daily activities, you will not pass underwriting. Certain chronic, incurable health conditions may also disqualify you. Learn more about Medicare Supplement Insurance Underwriting.

In the Coffee with MedicareBob video, Robert Bache asks with customer support team member Tammy Hess questions about your insurance application. Watch the video to discover mistakes that can cause application delays.