UNITED STATES—Hello Toni: I have recently enrolled in Medicare and received my 2020 Medicare and You handbook and cannot find what the 2021 Medicare costs will be? Do you have any idea what the new Medicare costs are? Why weren’t the numbers in the Medicare.gov handbook? Thank You, Sarah from San Antonio, TX.

Hello Sarah: Every year the Medicare and You handbook is printed and mailed out to be received by October 1st to all Medicare beneficiaries to help guide them with the Medicare Annual Enrollment period which ends December 7th.

The handbook states that at the time of printing, the premiums, and deductible amounts for Medicare Part A, Part B and Part D were not available. Do not know why Medicare could not include what the new costs will be for 2021, especially since this year is so stressful due to COVID-19 and employer layoffs.

Guess what? The 2021 Medicare Part A and B premiums and costs were released by CMS (Medicare) on Monday, November 9, 2020 and are listed below:

2021Medicare Parts A &B Premiums and Costs:

  • Part A Costs (Inpatient Hospital): The new 2021 Part A inpatient hospital deductible will be an increase of $76 from $1,408 in 2020 to $1,484 for 2021. The Part A deductible starts over every 60 days. It is not a once-a-year deductible but 6-times a year.  Under Part A is Medicare Skilled Nursing and the 2021 costs will be days 1-20 $0 copay per day and days 21- 100 will be $185.50 per day.
  • Part B Costs (Medical): The new 2021 Part B medical/doctor deductible will rise by only $5 from $198 yearly deductible to $203 beginning January 1, 2021. Medicare pays 80% of the Medicare approved amount and you (Medicare beneficiary) pay the remaining 20% of the Medicare approved amount.
  • Part B Premiums: New premium for 2021 will be increase by $3.90 from $144.60 in 2020 to $148.50 beginning January 1, 2021. This is an average increase and those who income is higher than $87,000 as an individual or $176,000 as a married couple will be paying more for Medicare Part B beginning January 1, 2021.

2021 Medicare Part D costs and copays are explained below:

-Initial Part D Deductible: will be increased by $10 from $435 in 2020 to $445 in 2021.

-Initial Part D Coverage Limit: will increase by $120 from $4,020 in 2020 to $4130 in 2021 where the 2021 “Donut Hole” begins.

-TrOOP (“true out of pocket”): will increase from $6,350 in 2020 to $6,550 in 2021.

-Donut Hole (Coverage Gap): begins once you reach your Medicare Part D plan’s initial coverage limit ($4,130 in 2021) and ends when you spend a total of $6,550 out-of-pocket in 2021.

-Does the Donut Hole really go away? In 2020, the Donut Hole began being called Donut Hole Discount.

-What is the Donut Hole Discount: Part D enrollees will receive a 75% Donut Hole discount on the total cost of their brand-name drugs purchased while in the Donut Hole. The discount includes, a 70% discount paid by the brand-name drug manufacturer and a 5% discount paid by your Medicare Part D plan. The 70% paid by the drug manufacturer, 5% Part D plan discount combined with the 25% you pay, count toward your Donut Hole exit point.

For a Medicare Checkup, call the Toni Says® Medicare call center at 832-519-8664 or email info@tonisays.com regarding your Medicare plans and options.

Toni King, author of the Medicare Survival Guide® is giving a $5 discount on the Medicare Survival Guide® Advanced book at www.tonisays.com.