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Medicare Open Enrollment Ends December 7—Beneficiaries Should Review Options

November 28, 2017

Medicare Open Enrollment provides an opportunity for all Medicare beneficiaries to consider their health care coverage. The Medicare Open Enrollment period closes on December 7, 2017.

Resources are available on www.Medicare.gov to help Medicare beneficiaries review their current enrollment and use a plan finder to compare coverage options. 

Original Medicare allows beneficiaries to sign up for medical (Part B) and hospital (Part A) insurance, and add prescription drug coverage (Part D) or a supplemental insurance policy (Medigap). 

Medicare Advantage (Part C) combines hospital, medical, and prescription drug coverage.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced the premium rates for Medicare Part A and Part B.

Medicare Part B is medical insurance that covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventative services. The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees will be $134 for 2018, the same as during 2017. The annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries will be $183 during 2018, the same as during 2017.

Medicare Part A is hospital insurance that covers inpatient hospital stays, care in skilled nursing facilities, hospice, and some home care. About 99 percent of Medicare beneficiaries do not have a Part A premium because they have at least 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment. For those that do not, the Medicare Part A annual inpatient hospital deductible that beneficiaries pay when admitted to the hospital will be $1,340 per benefit period during 2018, an increase of $24 from 2017. 

A CMS fact sheet provides more detail on the premium, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts for Medicare Part A and Part B. 

Monthly Part C premiums and Part D costs will vary based on the plan selected.  

HAP and Pennsylvania’s hospitals and health systems continue to press for health insurance coverage for all Pennsylvanians. 

Pennsylvanians that are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid and do not have coverage through their employer are encouraged to seek insurance through the individual market.  The open enrollment period for health plans selected using the HealthCare.gov platform is through December 15, 2017. 

Continued outreach for signups in the Health Insurance Marketplace (healthCare.gov) during the open enrollment period is crucial to achieving health insurance coverage for all Pennsylvanians.

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