MACRA requires changes to Medicare supplement plans beginning January 1, 2020.
WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MEDICARE IN 2020? What is MACRA?
The acronym MACRA stands for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. Congress included this to reform the Medicare payment system to share more health care costs with policyholders by no longer allowing “newly eligible” beneficiaries to obtain a Medicare supplement plan that covers the Part B deductible. It also will transition away from using Social Security numbers as identifiers to reduce the risk of identity theft and fraud. MACRA will also change the way Medicare pays health care providers, compensating them on quality of care as opposed to the number of services they perform.
HOW DOES IT AFFECT ANYONE THAT IS NOT NEWLY ELIGIBLE?
There will be no plan changes for “not newly eligible” individuals. Medicare supplement Plans C and F are not going away. Current policyholders can continue with their Plan C or Plan F, and those who are “not newly eligible” will be allowed to continue to buy these two plans, even after January 2020. The only change impacting existing enrollees is they will receive a new Medicare card with a unique and randomly-assigned Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) instead of their Social Security number to help reduce the risk of identity theft and fraud. New Medicare cards will be issued beginning in April 2018 and will continue through April 2019. When your clients receive their new Medicare cards, they should give their new card to their health care provider at their next appointment. No need for you to call Medico Agent Services or Customer Care.
HOW WILL IT AFFECT YOU, IF YOU ARE NEWLY ELIGIBLE?
Since MACRA prohibits the sale of Medicare supplement plans that cover the Part B deductible for “newly eligible” individuals, Plan C and Plan F will not be available to them. They will have access to plans which include some type of cost-share component, including Plans G and N. Guaranteed issue plans for “newly eligible” individuals will include A, B, D, G, K and L.
Newly eligible Individuals who turn 65 years old on or after January 1, 2020, or anyone who first becomes eligible for Medicare benefits due to age, disability, or endstage renal disease as defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on or after January 1, 2020.
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