Medicare changes in 2020 will affect what Medigap products you have available to sell, including one of the most popular consumer choices. But with the right preparation, you can organize your portfolio (and your process) to best assist your new and existing clients in the coming year.
What Are the Upcoming Medicare Changes in 2020?
Beginning in January 2020, Medicare beneficiaries can’t be sold Medigap plans that offer $0 deductibles. This means that new Medicare enrollees cannot purchase Medigap Plan F, high-deductible Plan F, or Medigap Plan C. These changes coming to Medicare in 2020 are attributed to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).
MACRA was created to help control Medicare costs, which were previously outpacing GDP (gross domestic product) growth. By eliminating coverage of the Part B deductible, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that it can reduce federal spending by $400 million over the course of 5 years.
How Will Medigap Changes in 2020 Affect Your Clients?
Existing clients who are already enrolled in a Medigap Plan C or F will be allowed to maintain their coverage. Additionally, clients who are eligible for coverage prior to January 1, 2020, will be allowed to enroll in a C or F Medigap plan. These clients can continue to purchase Plans C and F indefinitely. The 2020 Medigap changes will not affect these clients because their coverage falls into “grandfathered” status.
New clients eligible for Medicare after December 31, 2019 will not be allowed to enroll in these plans. Instead, they will have two guaranteed issue options: Plan D and G. Plan G will have a high-deductible option beginning in 2020. Your “grandfathered” clients may also purchase a Plan D or G plan, if they wish, but may have to undergo medical underwriting.
How Can You Prepare Your Clients for the 2020 Medicare Changes?
The upcoming 2020 Medicare Supplement changes can be confusing, and even frustrating, to clients who are new to Medicare. Because some clients may be eligible before these changes are put into place, it is important to help them understand that timeliness may affect their coverage. Your existing clients may need an extra reminder that they, too, can lose coverage options if they are not enrolled in their ideal plan before 2020.
Your clients may want to know why changes have been, and how these changes affect their coverage options. Familiarizing yourself with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) may help you when explaining the Medicare changes in 2020 to your clients.
As always, it’s best to evaluate your clients’ individual needs when discussing their coverage options. For example, a client may be eligible for coverage in December 2019. They want to visit doctors that don’t accept Medicare assignments, but don’t want to pay out-of-pocket for excess charges. They are also concerned about paying the Part B deductible. This client is eligible before the Medicare changes in 2020, so you may advise them to enroll in Plan F.
On the other hand, a new client is eligible for coverage in February 2020. This client visits doctors who accept Medicare assignments, so excess charges are not a concern. Because Medigap plan C is no longer available to this client, you may suggest Plan D or G, depending on premium costs.
Plans C, D, F and G Compared
|Coverage||Plan C||Plan F||Plan D||Plan G|
|Part A Coinsurance Hospital Costs||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Part B Coinsurance/Copay||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Part A Hospice Care||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Skilled Nursing Facility Care Coinsurance||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Part A Deductible||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Part B Deductible||✔||✔||X||X|
|Part B Excess Charges||X||✔||X||✔|
|Foreign Travel Emergency||80%||80%||80%||80%|
|Availability||Until 1/1/2020||Until 1/1/2020||Ongoing||Ongoing|
How Can HealthMarkets Help You Prepare Your Business?
Preparing your portfolio for the Medicare changes in 2020 now can give you a competitive advantage. Not only can you provide your clients with accurate guidance, you can set yourself apart and a forward thinking agent in the upcoming enrollment season. How else can your improve your business? By becoming a licensed HealthMarkets agent.
HealthMarkets agents have access to marketing and advertising assistance, lead gathering technology, on-boarding and on-going training, and more. Contact HealthMarkets to get started today!