Preparing for Medicare in California 2021
Medicare continues to offer seniors and people with disabilities flexibility and choices while providing high quality healthcare services. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has taken several actions to improve the Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug programs that have resulted, overall, in an increase in plan choices and benefits, and lower costs in these popular programs. CMS has expanded opportunities for people with Medicare to choose Medicare Advantage plans that are providing more access to telehealth services, or for those people with diabetes to enroll in a plan that offers a broad set of insulins for no more than $35 per month per prescription.
CMS is empowering people with Medicare with price and quality information to make informed choices that best meet their healthcare needs. 6,419,004 beneficiaries in California are enrolled in Medicare.
The average monthly Medicare Advantage premium changed from $22.39 in 2020 to $19.94 in 2021. This represents a -10.94% change in average premium.
424 Medicare Advantage plans are available in 2021, compared to 372 plans in 2020. This represents a 13.98% change in plan options.
98% of people with Medicare have access to a Medicare Advantage plan.
$0 is the lowest monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage plan.
92% of people with Medicare will have access to a Medicare Advantage plan with a $0 monthly premium.
20 plans will be offering Medicare Advantage enrollees innovative benefits such as wellness and healthcare planning, reduced cost sharing, and rewards and incentives programs, and 1 plan will offer the Medicare hospice benefit through their plan.
9 stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans and 111 Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage will offer lower out-of-pocket insulin costs through the Part D Senior Savings Model.
32 stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans are available in 2021, compared to 32 plans in 2020. This represents a 0 percent change in plan options. All Medicare beneficiaries have access to a Medicare prescription drug plan.
100 percent of people with a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan have access to a plan with a lower premium than what they paid in 2020.
32 percent of people with a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan get Extra Help (also called the low-income subsidy, or LIS).
$7.20 is the lowest monthly premium for a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan.
2021 Medicare Open Enrollment Important Dates
Medicare Open Enrollment runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. People with Medicare should take the opportunity to review their healthcare needs for the upcoming year and determine if changes to their current coverage are necessary. By shopping available plans and comparing costs, beneficiaries may be able to find a Medicare health or drug plan with better coverage or a lower premium in 2021. The Medicare Plan Finder allows users to compare pricing between Original Medicare, Medicare prescription drug plans, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policies.
The “2021 Medicare & You” Handbook is sent to every person with Medicare. The handbook can be accessed online at: https://www.medicare.gov/forms-help-resources/medicare-you-handbook/download-medicare-you-in-different-formats.
Health and drug plans begin notifying enrollees about changes to their plans in 2020.
Beneficiaries can begin shopping and comparing plans on Medicare.gov starting Oct. 1.
Beneficiaries should watch their mail for notices from Medicare with information about changes in 2021.
Medicare health and drug plan 2021 Star Ratings will be available on Medicare.gov on or around Oct. 8.
Medicare Open Enrollment begins Oct. 15.
Medicare Open Enrollment ends Dec. 7.
Medicare health and drug plan coverage for 2021 begins Jan. 1, 2021.
Source: Department Of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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