FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2015
What You Need to Know for Medicare Fall Open Enrollment
Medicare Fall Open Enrollment occurs from October 15 to December 7 of every year and is the time of year when people with Medicare can make unrestricted changes to their coverage options. As we approach Fall Open Enrollment, the Medicare Rights Center is pleased to share with you our educational resource for journalists, which includes a list of upcoming changes and expert Medicare advice. Also included are consumer-friendly resources that may be of interest to your audience. We hope you will find it helpful as you prepare your stories for the enrollment season.
Important Updates for 2016
Part B premiums may increase for some.
The standard Part B Premium is expected to remain stable for 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries at $104.90 per month, however, it may increase to $159.30 per month for the remaining 30 percent. This group includes people who enroll in Medicare during 2016 and people who do not collect Social Security benefits. Also affected by this increase are beneficiaries who pay a higher, income-related premium based on their income. [Source: Medicare Trustees report]
Final 2016 Part B premiums will be announced in the fall. People with Medicare should consider the final premium amounts as they make plan selections during open enrollment.
There are more 4 to 5 star plans than ever.
In 2015, 61 percent of Medicare Advantage plans are rated from 4 to 5 stars in Medicare’s Star Quality Rating. This is up from 52 percent in 2014 and 37 percent in 2013. Medicare beneficiaries should consider a plan’s star rating as they make plan selections during open enrollment, in addition to taking into consideration the plan’s premium, cost sharing, coverage rules, and other factors. [Source: Kaiser Family Foundation]
The complete resource is available on our website at: www.medicarerights.org/pdf/fall-open-enrollment-resource-for-journalists.pdf.
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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.
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