Ron Bliss guest col: Seniors dodged bullet last month, but Medicare costs still on the rise

Many seniors dodged one bullet when Congress chose not to raise the Part B Premium on 70 percent of them last month, but Medicare costs are still going up.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that the Part A and Part B deductibles are going up for 2016 – along with co-pays for hospitalization for those who only have Parts A and Part B without a supplement.

The Part A deductible is increasing from $1260 to $1288, while the Part B deductible is increasing from $147 to $166.

Other increases are as follow:

Co-Pays for days 61 to 90 – From $315 a day to $322 a day.

Co-Pays for days 91-150 – From $630 per day to $644 per day.

Those with a Medicare supplement plan that fully covers hospitalization will not feel the increase. Plans F, G and N pay the Part A deductible, while Plan L pays 75 percent and Plan K 50 percent. Most Medicare Advantage plans now require a co-pay for the first four or five days, depending on the plan.

Someone without a supplement or an advantage plan faces the possibility of owing as much as $49,588 for a 150-day hospital stay – the sum result of the deductible ($1288), 30 days at $322 ($9660) and 60 days at $644 a day ($38,640). Any stay of more than 150 days is at full cost. The 150 days is Medicare’s limit of coverage. Those with a supplement have 365 days of additional coverage.

This makes it all the more important to protect yourself with a supplement. With the coming of the Affordable Care Act, Medical bankruptcy has been eliminated – meaning you would owe the full cost, if you lack coverage.

It is another reason to invest in a supplement – some of which cost less for an entire year in premiums than spending one day in the hospital without and paying the deductible.

Some G plans are now as low as $102.54 a month or $1230.48 for an entire year. N plans are as low as $90 per month.

If you don’t have a supplement but want information about owning one, call us as Affordable Healthcare Pros. We offer supplements from nine different companies.

F plans pay all costs for hospitalization and Part B services, while G plans only require payment of the Part B deductible and pays all other services. Both are good, affordable options.

Call us as 775-883-3414 or come see us at 2307 N. Carson St., in Carson City.

Our help is free of charge. If we can help, you can also call us at 775-450-6769, 775-224-7169, 775-450-7754 or 775-450-6867.

We are not limited to Northern Nevada. You can also call one of our two Southern Nevada lines – 702- 721-3657 or 702-721-3810. We are also licensed in California and sell Medicare supplements there, as well.

Ron Bliss is a former long-time sports writer who has been doing health insurance since 2009. He is certified on both Covered California and the Nevada Health Link and can sell products on and off both exchanges. Affordable Healthcare Pros also offers a variety of dental plans to include dental-vision-hearing plans in both states, as well as a wide variety of Medicare supplements and other health supplemental products to include critical illness, short-term care, disability, plans to cover in-home or nursing home costs, accidents and hospital indemnity policies.


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