Major Premium Increases Projected for Part B Medicare in 2016

Presented by Leonard Berthelsen

Several reports recently, including one from CSG Actuarial, have indicated that there is going to be a major shift in the financing of Medicare Part B in 2016.

It is being reported that the Part B premium that Medicare recipients pay will increase from $104.90 per month to $159.30 per month. That is a 51% increase! The Part B deductible is projected to increase from $147 annually to $223. Again, a 51% increase!

The big unknown here is whether the Medicare Supplement carriers will follow suit and increase premiums as well. Plan F Medicare supplements are projected to have claim costs of up to 8% higher in 2016 due to the increased Part B deductible. On the other hand, the Plan G Medicare supplement is anticipated to be premium neutral for the carriers as the deductible is paid by the Medicare enrollee.

There has been no official report from Medicare or CMS about these reported increases but we have come to accept that those announcements are generally made late in the year prior to implementation.

What does it mean to a producer that has the discussion with their clients about Medicare and supplemental coverage? Simply put, some real opportunities for you and your clients.

If someone has a Plan F Medicare supplement and is insurable, there very well may be an opportunity for a discussion about a Plan G Medicare supplement. Carriers will undoubtedly tout the major differences between the G & F plans that they offer, and pricing certainly will be at the forefront. There could be an unusually large group of Medicare supplement clients looking at alternatives when these new rates go into effect.

With Financial Brokerage rolling out our Medicare supplement line of carriers later this month, there will be some opportunities presented to you with these changes. We are offering a great carrier line up, competitive commissions, state of the art quoting-to-application electronic quote system and Shared Success credits all in helping you be successful in your practice.

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