There are more options than ever before for you to consider when searching for a Medicare Advantage Plan. Beginning in January 2021, more benefits will be available, from savings on insulin costs to getting a portion of your Part B premium returned. Here are a few of the new features.
The Senior Savings Model was introduced to some 2021 Medicare Advantage plans and Part D drug plans to reduce the cost of insulin to their members. The plans that participate vary by county for the Advantage Plans and are state-wide for certain stand-alone Part D drug plans. The plans participating in the federal model cap insulin copays at $35, and some are even lower depending on the brand of insulin.
New “Giveback” Advantage Plans give a portion or all of the Part B Premium “back” to you. These plans also vary by county and are not available in all areas. The insurance carrier pays the discount on the Part B premium. For example, if you sign up for a plan that gives you $125 back on your $148.50 Part B premium, the carrier pays the $125 to Medicare, and you would pay the remaining $23.50. If your Part B is paid out of your Social Security check, the portion of your Part B premium paid by the carrier will be added back to your monthly SS check.
There is also a new Special Needs Medicare Advantage (SNP) plan for people with End Stage Renal Disease. People who have ESRD had not been allowed to purchase a Medicare Advantage Plan prior to 2021. Plans with an effective date starting January 1, 2021 can enroll those with ERSD in a SNP Medicare plan. These plans also vary by county and may not be available in all regions. Cost-sharing for outpatient dialysis or immunosuppressant drugs on these plans cannot be higher than what the beneficiary would pay under Original Medicare.