Susan Polk Insurance Agency, San Luis Obispo, Announces Medicare Plan Changes For 2018
Medicare plans for San Luis Obispo county participants have a number of changes for 2018. The most significant of those changes are in the areas of premiums, deductibles, coinsurance payments and income brackets. Susan Polk Insurance Agency has summarized these changes and is announcing them to help Medicare recipients be aware of the changes and understand how they might be affected.
Medicare plan changes for 2018
Changes to Medicare for 2018 fall into four main areas:
- Medicare premiums for Part A and Part B
- Medicare deductibles
- Coinsurance payments for hospital and skilled nursing stays
- Income brackets
Along with these changes, the Medicare administration is mailing new Medicare cards starting in April. The new cards are automatically mailed to the address on record. Contact Social Security to update mailing addresses for the new card covering Medicare plans in San Luis Obispo County and elsewhere.
What you need to know about the new Medicare card
- To protect identities the new card uses the Medicare number instead of the social security number.
- Cards are not mailed at the same time so neighbors and friends will get them at different times.
- Doctors and other healthcare providers are now able to look up Medicare numbers online but carry your new card with you to make it easier to provide the Medicare number.
- The Medicare card is not an identification card. Only show it to doctors, pharmacists, health care providers, insurers or people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf.
- Additional instructions arrive with the card.
Participants who have been getting Part A hospital coverage as part of their Social Security Benefits without charge will continue to do so. Those who have been paying for Part A may see an increase between $5 to $9.
The Medicare Part B premium increases to $134 for most recipients. However, most recipients are protected by the hold-harmless provision so this increase will not reduce monthly social security payments.
- The Part A hospital annual deductible increases by $24 to $1340.
- Part B remains the same at $183 annually.
Coinsurance payments for hospital and skilled nursing stays
Part A generally covers hospital stays after meeting the annual deductible and for stays up to 60 days. The following charges have increased for 2018:
- $0 up to 60 days (no change)
- $335 per day between 61 and 90 days (a $6 increase from 2017)
- 91 days and more participants can use up to 60 lifetime reserve days but will need to pay $670 per day (a $12 increase from 2017)
There is no coinsurance charge for up to 20 days in a skilled nursing facility. For stays between 21-100 days, the charge is $167.50 per day. No coverage is available after day 100, forcing participants to cover costs or get payments from a supplemental Medicare policy. The agents at the Susan Polk Insurance Agency, specialists in Medicare Plans for San Luis Obispo County, can help people find the right plan to offset these gaps in Medicare coverage.
The Medicare Part B surcharges for those who make above certain incomes are remaining the same for 2018 but the income brackets have changed. The surcharge is an amount that is paid in addition to the base $134 per month that everyone pays, which increases Part B premiums for those with higher incomes.
The charges range from $187.50 for those with incomes between $85,000 and $107,000 to the highest $428.60 for incomes over 160,000.
Most of the income brackets were lowered in 2018. For example, the highest bracket for 2017 was income over $241,000. This highest earning amount was reduced to $160,000 for 2018.
Learning more about 2018 changes
Learn more about Medicare and changes for 2018 at the Medicare website. To learn more about how additional Medicare insurance plans can benefit you, contact Susan Polk Insurance Agency. The people at the Polk agency have been providing medical insurance since 1988 and specialize in Medicare insurance plans. They are always available to answer your questions and help you find the best affordable coverage.
Susan Polk Insurance Agency, Inc.
1443 Marsh St.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
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