323.455.4961

Posts tagged with "Medicare Part B"

Medicare 2019 Part B Premium Increase

I’m impressed!  For the majority of Medicare beneficiaries, the government has kept increases to a minimum for 2019 that is, unless you make more money.  If you’re in that ballgame, you’re going to get a hefty increase (see below).  The STANDARD monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees will be $135.50 for 2019, only an increase of $1.50 from $134 in 2018.   Medicare Part B covers physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, and certain other medical and health services not covered by Medicare Part A.  More Medicare announcements:

PART B ANNUAL DEDUCTIBLE INCREASE:

The annual deductible for Medicare Part B beneficiaries is $185 in 2019, an increase of $2 from the annual deductible $183 in 2018.  

PART B ANNUAL INCOME RELATED MONTHLY ADJUSTMENT AMOUNTS (IRMAA) INCREASE:

No one wants to date IRMAA 🙂   Your Part B monthly premium is based on your income (MAGI).  IRMAA affects roughly 5 percent of people with Medicare Part B.  

Beneficiaries who file 
individual tax returns with income:
Beneficiaries who file
joint tax returns with income:
Income-related monthly adjustment amount Total monthly premium amount
Less than or equal to $85,000 Less than or equal to $170,000 $0.00 $135.50
Greater than $85,000 and less than or equal to $107,000 Greater than $170,000 and less than or equal to $214,000 $54.10 $189.60
Greater than $107,000 and less than or equal to $133,500 Greater than $214,000 and less than or equal to $267,000 $135.40 $270.90
Greater than  $133,500 and less than or equal to $160,000 Greater than $267,000 and less than or equal to $320,000 $216.70 $352.20
Greater than $160,000 and less than $500,000 Greater than $320,000 and less than $750,000 $297.90 $433.40
Greater than or equal to $500,000 Greater than or equal to $750,000 $325.00 $460.50

Premiums for high-income beneficiaries who are married and lived with their spouse at any time during the taxable year, but file a separate return, are as follows:

Beneficiaries who are married and lived with their spouses at any time during the year, but who file separate tax returns from their spouses: Income-related monthly adjustment amount Total monthly premium amount
Less than or equal to $85,000 $0.00 $135.50
Greater than $85,000 and less than $415,000 $297.90 $433.40
Greater than or equal to $415,000 $325.00 $460.50

PART A PREMIUM:

Most people that have 40 quarters of coverage with Social Security, will not pay a Part A premium.  If you do not qualify (immigrant to the US, worked a job that does not pay into Social Security, did not report your income, etc.), you can buy Part A.  If you are age 65 and over and have FEWER than 40 quarters of coverage and certain persons with disabilities can elect to pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A of $437/mo in 2019. 

Individuals who had at least 30 quarters of coverage or were married to someone with at least 30 quarters of coverage may buy into Part A at a reduced monthly premium rate, which will be $240 in 2019. 

PART A DEDUCTIBLE:

The Medicare Part A inpatient hospital deductible will be $1,364 in 2019.  Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility, and some home health care services.  About 99 percent of Medicare beneficiaries do NOT pay a Part A premium since they have at least 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment.  

Part A Deductible and Coinsurance Amounts for Calendar Years 2018 and 2019
by Type of Cost Sharing

2018 2019
Inpatient hospital deductible $1,340 $1,364
Daily coinsurance for 61st-90th Day 335 341
Daily coinsurance for lifetime reserve days 670 682
Skilled Nursing Facility coinsurance 167.50 170.50
Hoffman Insurance Resources is an independent insurance brokerage agency specializing in Medicare and individual/family health plans.  We are contracted with over 40 companies, Covered CA certified and Medicare certified with 13 carriers.  Physically located in the Los Angeles area, we are also contracted in many states throughout the country.  We pride ourselves on doing what’s right for our clients (whether we make money or not), educating you, being your advocate after the sale and exceeding your expectations. We accept only the insurance company commissions so there are NO extra charges for our assistance and guidance.  From ObamaCare through MediCare…we truly Care!  Check out our reviews on Yelp and Google 🙂
  Debbie@Go2HIR.com               323.455.4961            www.Go2HIR.com           https://www.facebook.com/hoffmaninsuranceresources

 

Social Security 2018 COLA increase. Will you see an increase in your check?

Hot dog!  We finally have a Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment increase!  Social Security announced that beneficiaries should receive a whopping 2% increase for 2018.  If you are receiving $1,500/mo, that equates to a $30 monthly increase.  But hold the phone…will you REALLY see that entire increase in your check?  Don’t spend all that money yet!

Many Social Security beneficiaries may not receive their raise!

About 70% of people who are receiving both Medicare and Social Security, have been protected from rising Medicare Part B increases by something called the “hold harmless” clause.  Basically, the ‘hold harmless’ clause ensures that existing Medicare members don’t see their Part B premiums increase more than their Social Security COLA raise.  Therefore, Social Security’s 2017 raise of 0.3%, kept Part B premiums from rising by more than 0.3% in 2017 for this group of beneficiaries.

2018 Part B premiums haven’t been announced yet but aren’t expected to increase much higher than 2017.  Those who’ve been protected by ‘hold harmless’ could see some, or all, of their raise gobbled up by Medicare Part B in order to “catch them up” for the lower premiums they’ve paid in recent years.

medicare

Avoiding Medicare Part B Penalty, Part 1 – Medicare Eligible and Covered Under an Employer Group Plan

Welcome and thank you for reading my very first blog!  I’m extremely honored and grateful you chose to spend a few minutes of your time with me.   My goal is to bring something valuable to your life that will put you in a better health and wealth position AND make confusing subjects, easier to understand.  One of the most disheartening parts of our job as an independent insurance agent is to give bad news to a client and not being able to do anything about it.  From our vast experience, I’d like to use this blog to help you avoid some of the ‘gotchas’, pitfalls and crazy rules that could get you in a pickle later.    

If you hadn’t noticed, Medicare can be very confusing.  There are some really quirky rules in Medicare and this is one of the craziest.  It’s relatively easy to enroll into Medicare when you turn 65 and your situation is pretty straight forward.  However, if you have something out of the ordinary, you need to know the rules so you won’t get penalized in the future.  This has popped up a few times in my career so it’s good to realize it’s a problem in case you know of anyone that fits the situation. You don’t have to know ALL the rules, you just have to be aware it could be a problem and know where to seek guidance.  Unfortunately, many of Social Security’s own staff do not understand this rule.  It has to do when do you apply for Part B if you are covered under an employer group plan.  The rule (from Medicare.gov) is you can delay Part B (and avoid the penalty) if:

  • You have insurance through an employer or union.
  • You or your spouse (or family member if you’re disabled) are still working.

Notice the 2nd part of the rule…’still working‘.  That’s the part most people miss.  But wait…there’s more!  In addition to being penalized, you cannot apply for Part B at just anytime of the year unless you have a ‘special circumstance’.  This situation does NOT fall under one of their ‘special circumstances’ and therefore you can ONLY apply during the Part B Open Enrollment which is from January 1 – March 31st.  But wait…there’s even more!!  Your Part B won’t become effective until July 1st!

Here are a couple of stories that illustrate the problem:

  1.  Betty retires at age 60, her spouse, Bob, is 65.  Part of her School District’s contract with the union covers her for insurance till she turns 65.  That’s normally a great benefit, UNLESS your spouse is eligible for Medicare!  In this case, Bob delays Part B because he is still covered under the group plan.  When she turns 65, they both go into their local Social Security to apply for Part B where they are informed Bob will have to pay a penalty because he did NOT obtain Part B when she ‘stopped working’. The Part B penalty is 10% for each year he didn’t have the Part B = 50% of the current Part B premium!  For 2017, the Part B premium is $134, therefore, he pays an additional $67/month…FOREVER!  AND it will increase as the Part B premiums increase.

AVOIDING THE PENALTY:  When Betty retired at age 60, Bob should have applied for his Part B at that time. 

  1. Susan, age 64, has an accident at work and goes onto worker’s compensation.  When she turns 65 (even though she isn’t technically working), her company continues to keep her on the employer group plan.  At that time, she goes to her local Social Security office where she meets with an agent and is upfront, informing the agent that she is out on disability but still covered under her group plan.  The Social Security agent tells her that she can delay her Part B.  After 2 years of being on disability, the employer group plan stops.  She goes back to the Social Security office and they inform her that she will be penalized 20% for 2 years of not having Part B when she was eligible.  The good news is she kept VERY good notes, recorded the date/time and name of the agent.  This is IMPORTANT because everything is video recorded at the SS office and they can look back at the recordings to verify her story.  Because it was a Social Security agent that misinformed her, she is currently appealing through Medicare (we’ll discuss appeals in another blog).  My thought is she will have the penalty reversed because she kept good notes and SS misinformed her.

AVOIDING THE PENALTY:  When Betty turned age 65, she should have applied for his Part B at that time. 

So think about it, if Bob or Susan tried to apply for their Part B on April 1st, they have to wait till January 1st of the NEXT year AND they won’t have coverage till July 1st of the NEXT year.  Yikes!  That means they will have to go without doctor/out patient medical coverage for 1 year and 3 months or have to purchase an individual plan at exorbitant rates because they are over age 65 (ESPECIALLY during ObamaCare).   In my opinion, this is insane and should be changed!

In summary, keep excellent notes when you speak with Social Security or Medicare.  Record the date, time and everyone’s name you speak with!   I also suggest asking different agents the same question to see if their answers coincide.  If possible, obtain something in writing.  AND hold onto to that info FOREVER!

https://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/get-parts-a-and-b/should-you-get-part-b/should-i-get-part-b.html#collapse-3156

 

Debbie Hoffman is an independent insurance broker specializing in Medicare and individual/family health plans, contracted with over 40 companies and Medicare certified with 13 carriers.  Located in the Los Angeles area, she is contracted in many states throughout the country.  She prides herself on educating her clients, being their advocate and exceeding their expectations.  She accepts only the insurance company commissions so there are no extra charges for her assistance and guidance.  From ObamaCare through MediCare…Debbie cares.

debbie@debbiehoffman.com    323.455.4961