What Are the 2021 Medicare Changes Seniors Need to Know?

If you haven’t taken a look at your Medicare coverage lately, there’s no better time to do so than right now. Each year, Medicare changes somewhat, updating and adjusting coverage for insurers. And you have just two months to adjust your current coverage, find a new plan, or change up your Medicare coverage during the annual open enrollment period. Seniors need to be prepared – and the best way to do this is to search online for the latest Medicare updates.

You need to know what changes will be going into effect on January 1, 2021. Whether you’re new to Medicare or already enrolled in a plan, you’ll want to check your current coverage and learn how the upcoming changes might affect you. Search online to find Medicare coverage that’ll meet all of your needs. 

Are you ready for 2020 Medicare open enrollment? Here are the changes planned for 2021 that you need to know about before you begin making any changes to your current coverage.

Medicare Will Offer More Telehealth Coverage

One of the newest trends in medical care is an increase in telehealth services. Also called telemedicine, telehealth services allow individuals to meet with doctors and healthcare providers right in their own homes. Instead of heading to your doctor’s office, you can schedule a video call to discuss health concerns, ongoing care, and more. Telemedicine is an especially helpful service for seniors and high-risk individuals who might get sick in environments outside of their homes.

In 2021, Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans will offer increased coverage for these innovative services. Medicare will allow seniors to take advantage of virtual services like e-visits and virtual check-ins with doctors and other healthcare providers. 

Medicare Advantage plans will also offer increased coverage for a wide array of different telehealth services. You may be able to get telemedicine visits covered for:

  • Primary care;
  • Cardiology;
  • Dermatology;
  • Psychiatry;
  • Gynecology, and;
  • Endocrinology. 

Just make sure to carefully compare the coverage details of different Medicare Advantage plans. Not all plans will offer the same telehealth services coverage, and some plans may offer more extensive coverage. Search online to find Medicare Advantage plans that’ll feature this increased benefit.

Medicare Advantage Will Offer New Long-Term Care Coverage Benefits

One area of Medicare coverage that’s frustrated many senior subscribers is long-term care. Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans have always covered skilled services or rehabilitative care for a maximum of 100 days. Unfortunately, that simply hasn’t been enough coverage or financial help for many aging adults.

However, this is changing for 2021. Going forward, Medicare Advantage plans will offer more long-term care options. Plus, there can be additional supplemental coverage included in some plans that better suit seniors’ daily care needs. 

Starting January 1, 2021, Medicare Advantage plans will offer long-term care coverage additions that are expected to include:

  • Adult daycare;
  • In-home care, such as home health aides;
  • Modifications to make a home safer, such as grab bars, wheelchair ramps, and stair rail, and;
  • Meal delivery and transportation, like Lyft and Uber service for doctors’ appointments and grocery delivery services.

The coverage options will vary depending on the Medicare Advantage plan you’re enrolled in or the plan you choose during open enrollment. It’s important to note that long-term care in the form of assisted living will still not be covered under either Medicare or Medicare Advantage. The new coverage benefits are meant to aid seniors who are living independently.

Seniors With End-Stage Renal Disease Will Qualify for Medicare Advantage

Previously, seniors who are living with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) were very limited in their Medicare options. They were only able to enroll in some Medicare Advantage plans, and their enrollment was restricted. However, during the 2020 Medicare open enrollment period, those with ESRD will be able to sign up for Medicare Advantage and choose from a variety of different plan options.

This means that in 2021, seniors with ESRD have more choices. This can bring potentially significant benefits – and one the biggest might be how much you spend out of pocket. Seniors with ESRD may be able to pay less for their healthcare, as Medicare Advantage plans have an annual out-of-pocket spending cap of $6,700. Compared to Original Medicare’s annual cap of $15,000, that could spell big savings.

Search Online to Learn More During Medicare Open Enrollment

If you want to make changes to your Medicare coverage, open enrollment is your opportunity. This is the one time per year that you can enroll in a new plan as a current Medicare subscriber. It’s the best time to see what other options are available and update your coverage if needed.

Make sure to do your research before you pick a new Medicare plan. Look at the information about changes that will go into effect in 2021. Take the time to search online and compare your options. And don’t forget to look at the price and out-of-pocket costs. You need to consider premium costs and annual spending caps. You can find the right Medicare coverage at the most affordable price for your budget if you take the time to search.

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