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Re: Taking the voluntary retirement offer

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Message 1 of 14

Best way to get answers for questions re. Medicare is to call your state's local SHINE office.

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Valued Social Butterfly

Re: Taking the voluntary retirement offer

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Message 2 of 14

Indianrock wrote:

Whew, going to take me awhile to get through all of that information but thanks.

"3.  those whose Medicare premiums are not deducted from Social Security benefits;  (THIS IS YOUR SITUATION - I BELIEVE)"

 

They aren't deducted from my Social Security because I don't have any premiums yet just part A , but I assumed when I go on Part B they would be deducted from my social security check.


Yes, they will be - but right now you have nothing being deducted because you are getting your health insurance, part b, from your employer.

 

You did see that the SS and Medicare Trustees forecast that the Minimum amount of assessed premiums for new enrollees or those just signing up will be the same as this year.  $ 134 per month unless you are in that higher levels ( over $ 85,000 per year or unless you have low enough income to get some Medicare extra help paying these part b premiums.

Got my fingers crossed they are right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gold Conversationalist

Re: Taking the voluntary retirement offer

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Message 3 of 14

Whew, going to take me awhile to get through all of that information but thanks.

"3.  those whose Medicare premiums are not deducted from Social Security benefits;  (THIS IS YOUR SITUATION - I BELIEVE)"

 

They aren't deducted from my Social Security because I don't have any premiums yet just part A , but I assumed when I go on Part B they would be deducted from my social security check.

Randy
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Valued Social Butterfly

Re: Taking the voluntary retirement offer

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Message 4 of 14

Indianrock wrote:

That PBS article on possible Part  B premium increases was written in 2015, forecasting into 2016.

 

 

PBS - ( Medicare Heartburn) -Surprise ! Your Medicare Part B Premiums May Increasr By 50 Percent in ...


That's right but the process is the same each year - that is since the hold harmless clause has captured so many of the baby boomers and their rates can only go up so much based on the hold-harmless clause but the  25% of program cost coverage representing premiums has to fall on somebody - those who aren't covered by the hold harmless clause.

 

The 2017 Social Security and Medicare Trustee Report was just issued a few days ago - and they are forecasting that the minimum Part B premium for new enrollees in 2018 or those signing up for Part B and having the premium deducted from their SS check will remain at $ 134.00.  That is a forecast !  (The Actuaries are usually pretty close).

National Committee for the Preservation of Social Security and Medicare - Analysis of the 2017 Medic...

from the above link ~

The Part B standard monthly premium for 2018 is projected to be $134, which is the same as the 2017 amount. However, many beneficiaries are currently paying a lower premium due to the hold harmless provision in the law that protected their Social Security benefits from being reduced in the past few years when there was no COLA, or the COLA was not large enough to cover the increase in the Part B premium.

Higher-income beneficiaries (incomes exceeding $85,000 for an individual and $170,000 for a couple) pay larger income-related monthly premiums, which are projected to range from $187.50 to $428.60 in 2018, the same as in 2017. However, because the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) lowered certain income thresholds used for determining the income-related monthly adjustment amounts to be paid by beneficiaries in 2018, a greater number of beneficiaries will be paying higher amounts.

The annual deductible is projected to remain at $183 for all beneficiaries in 2018.

 

There is also an analysis forecast on the Part D of Medicare at the same link -

 

Just as a primer so that you will understand it fully and determine if you think Part B premiums will remain the same ($ 134.00) in 2018 for new enrollees as the Trustees forecast.  What happened in 2016 could repeat itself if our economy faulters too much.


Part B is financed through a combination of beneficiary premiums and federal general revenues. The standard Part B premiums are set to cover 25% of projected average per capita Part B program costs for the aged, with federal general revenues accounting for the remaining amount (75%).

In general, if projected Part B costs increase or decrease, the premium rises or falls proportionately.  However, most Part B enrollees are protected by a provision in the Social Security Act called the hold-harmless provision that prevents their Medicare Part B premiums from increasing more than the annual increase in their Social Security benefit payments. (COLA)
This hold harmless provision protection does not apply to four main groups of beneficiaries:
1.  Low income beneficiaries whose Part B premiums are paid by the Medicaid program;
2.  High income beneficiaries who are subject to income-related Part B premiums;
3.  those whose Medicare premiums are not deducted from Social Security benefits;  (THIS IS YOUR SITUATION - I BELIEVE)
4.  and new Medicare and Social Security enrollees

Each year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) determines the Medicare Part B premiums for the following year usually it comes out in the fall - same time as the COLA is announced.

The standard (minimum) monthly Part B premium for 2016 was $ 121.80 - new enrollees or those just signing up for Part B)
However, due to a 0% Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA)
in 2016, the hold-harmless provision applied to about 70% of Part B enrollees; their premiums were held flat at the 2015 premium amount of $104.90 through 2016. So the largest increase went to those who were either new enrollees to Medicare and SS or the ones, like yourself, who were newly enrolled in Part B for 2016.

At the end of 2016, there was a COLA calculation of .3% for 2017 however, it was eaten up by the maximum which could be charged to those who were subject to the hold-harmless clause. Those who had been paying the $ 104.90 could ONLY have their premiums raised to $ 109.00 because that was the complete COLA which they received.  

The new 2017 Part B minimum premium for new enrollees to Medicare and SS and those who just signed up for part B is currently $ 134.00.

 

Maybe this will explain it better -

Medicare Rights Blog 11/17/2016 - Medicare Part B Premiums Announced for 2017

 

 

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Gold Conversationalist

Re: Taking the voluntary retirement offer

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Message 5 of 14

That PBS article on possible Part  B premium increases was written in 2015, forecasting into 2016.

 

 

PBS - ( Medicare Heartburn) -Surprise ! Your Medicare Part B Premiums May Increasr By 50 Percent in ...

Randy
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Re: Taking the voluntary retirement offer

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Message 6 of 14

Thanks again.   It sounds as if I at least need to consider starting part B this year, despite being covered under "company paid COBRA" until May 2018.  Good points about Plan F also.

Randy
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Valued Social Butterfly

Re: Taking the voluntary retirement offer

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Message 7 of 14

As an example of what could happen to the currently designed Plan F once it is no longer being sold as of 01/01/2020:

 

My mother had always had Medigap Plan J - before Medicare changed their coverage for specific services, Plan J was the Cadillac.

 

Plan J was discontinued in 2010 but my mother could not switch because she was very old and definitely not in the best health.  After 2010, premiums began to rise, then in 2013 or 2014, the premiums really shot up.  My mother had enough to pay the increases but some people did not.  

 

Plan J was a very old and popular plan at one time - my mother picked it up in the late 80's.  Her premiums jumped from less than $100 to over $300 in a few years.

 

2013 Senior Healthcare Direct - Medicare Supplement Plan J, why did you leave me?

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Valued Social Butterfly

Re: Taking the voluntary retirement offer

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Message 8 of 14

Yes, Indianrock, you can buy a Medigap Plan F as long as it is done before the cutoff date of 01/01/2020 when the plan with 1st dollar coverage will no longer be,offered to new beneficiaries.

 

As long as premiums are paid on your chosen Plan F, you are guaranteed coverage under that plan.  However, if you decide to change plans later on for some reason, there may be a problem because they may take your health situation into consideration.

 

Also understand how your state has decided to allow insurance companies to price base their plans because it will affect your premiums now and in the future.

Medicare.gov - Cost of Medigap Policies

 

No doubt, Plan F, as currently designed, is a good plan - it covers about everything and you may not have to pay anything out of pocket. 

 

However, as Plan F, as it is currently designed, sales stop, and it begins to fade with people leaving it for whatever reason - some sources think that premiums will rise.

 

From a Forbes expert Forbes 03/17/2017'- Three Common Medigap Questions Answered

"However, there is concern that these plans will not draw very many new customers once the plans no longer cover the Part B deductible. If this happens, the pool of people with the plans will become smaller and older, and this will raise the odds that insurers would need to raise premiums on remaining customers. For this reason, I am advising people to shop around and see if there are acceptable Medigap plans they would consider buying instead of C and F plans."

 

Make sure you understand how Part B premiums are calculated especially for new (next year) enrollees - at this point in 2017, depending upon how the economy does, it could be a whopper.

 

PBS - ( Medicare Heartburn) -Surprise ! Your Medicare Part B Premiums May Increasr By 50 Percent in ...

 

You do have a lot to think about - too bad there is no crystal ball.

 

 

 

 

 

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Gold Conversationalist

Re: Taking the voluntary retirement offer

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Message 9 of 14

From what I'm reading, if you're are already on Part B before 2020, you can continue with Medigap Plan F.  Of course, a $183 a year Medicare Part B deductible isn't much ( unless someone gets the idea to raise it a bunch ).

 

https://boomerbenefits.com/is-plan-f-going-away/

 

  • If you are are on Plan F already when 2020 rolls around, you won’t be kicked off your coverage. In fact, you will continue to be able to purchase Plan F policies from other carriers after 2020 as well. (Again, the MACRA act only prohibits the sale of Medigap Plans C & F to newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries.
Randy
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Valued Social Butterfly

Re: Taking the voluntary retirement offer

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Message 10 of 14

Indianrock

You might find this pamphlet interesting - there is big section on Medigap.  Medicare: 2017 Medicare Basics

 

But basically, only during open enrollment are insurance companies not able to exclude you because of health conditions or place conditions on a Medigap policy -  after that period, they might make you wait for a pre existing condition coverage.  So changing Medigap policies are a little difficult.  States regulate Medigap plans.

 

The other thing you need to realize is that all Medigap plans have exactly

 the same coverage but they may charge different - higher or lower premiums.

 

States determine on what criteria Medigap policy premiums are based -  so yes, even if you were to be able to change to another policy, years down the road, depending upon your state rules, yes, you could be charged more.  Or they might  exclude you based on your health condition at the time or even deny coverage for a certain number of months before a pre existing condition is covered.

 

All of this is covered in the above linked booklet.

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