As the aging population is learning, healthcare costs are a huge element of financial planning. While trying to estimate your needed retirement funds, it's important to understand Medicare and your reliance on it. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 became law on April 16, 2015. With this new law passing, there have been updates to certain Medicare provisions:
The physician payment cut that has been debated for several years has been permanently repealed, and the law includes annual payment increases for physicians for some Medicare services. This may help ensure that patients will have continued access to their physicians.
New quality measures for physicians and certain hospital departments have been instituted; physicians who provide high-quality care will be rewarded.
Medicare Advantage special needs plans (SNPs) have been extended through the end of 2018. These plans may cover extra services in addition to the services covered by all Medicare Advantage plans, and may be available to people with chronic conditions, those who live in a nursing home or require nursing care at home, and those who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.
Also, the income-related premium adjustments for Mediacare Part B and D are as follows:
|Current MAGI limits||Premium percentage||MAGI limits beginning in 2018||Premium percentage|
Less than or equal to $85,000*
|25%||Less than or equal to $85,000*||25%|
|Greater than $85,000 and less than or equal to $107,000*||35%||Greater than $85,000 and less than or equal to $107,000*||35%|
|Greater than $107,000 and less than or equal to $160,000*||50%||Greater than $107,000 and less than or equal to $133,500*||50%|
|Greater than $160,000 and less than or equal to $214,000*||65%||Greater than $133,500 and less than or equal to $160,000*||65%|
|Greater than $214,000*||80%||Greater than $160,000*||80%|
Have you factored the Medicare changes into your financial plan?