UNITED STATES—Hello, Toni: I have recently enrolled in Medicare and have received my first Medicare and You handbook for 2019.  Do you have any idea what the new Medicare costs will be? I didn’t see anything in the handbook.  Thank You, Sandy from Sun City, CA

Hello, Sandy: Every year the Medicare and You handbook is mailed out before October 1 and states that at the time of printing the 2019 Medicare and You Handbook, the premiums and deductible amounts for Part A and Part B were not available.

Medicare confusion is why Toni Says.com writes the Medicare column and designed the new Medicare Survival Guide® Advanced edition. On Friday, October 12, the new Medicare Parts A and B premiums and costs were released by the “Centers for Medicare and Medicaid” aka CMS (Medicare). 

The new 2019 Medicare Parts A and B costs are below:

  • Part A Costs (Inpatient Hospital): The new 2019 Medicare Part A inpatient hospital deductible will be an increase of $24 to $1,364. Remember, the Part A deductible starts over every 60 days. It is not a once a year deductible, but 6 times a year.  Skilled Nursing costs for 2019 will be days 1-20 $0 co pay per day and days 21- 100 will be $170.50 per day.
  • Part B Costs (Medical): The new 2019 Medicare Part B medical/doctor deductible will increase by $2 to $185.00. Medicare pays 80 percent of the Medicare approved amount and you (Medicare beneficiary) pay the remaining 20 percent of the Medicare approved amount.
  • Part B Premiums: Premium for 2019 will increase by $1.50 to $135.50. Not a big increase from the 2018 Part B premium of $134.
  • Part D Costs (Prescription Drug Plan): The new 2019 Part D deductible is $415 once a year. You will pay your share for your prescription drugs until the combined amount reaches $3,820 and then you have reached the famous donut hole. At this time, you will pay 25 percent for your prescription drug plan’s cost for “covered” brand name drugs and the drug manufacturer will pay 70 percent with your prescription drug plan paying the remaining 5%.  For generic drugs, you will pay 37 percent for the plan’s cost for “covered” generic drugs and the drug plan pays 63 percent.  When a total of $5100.00 has been spent as out-of-pocket, then you will fall out of the “famous” donut hole for the year and into “Catastrophic” coverage. Once in “Catastrophic” coverage you will pay$3.40 or 5% of the “covered” generic prescriptions above $68 cost. For “covered” brand name prescriptions, the co pays are $8.50 or 5% of the “covered” brand name prescription drugs above $170 cost.

Toni Says® Tips: If your prescriptions are not in your Medicare Part D formulary, then YOU WILL pay 100 percent of the prescription drug cost.

-Be sure that all prescription drugs are covered on the new Part D prescription drugs MA standalone or MAPD plan which you choose and enroll by December 7 for a January 1 effective date.

-Visit ABBS4U.com for Toni’s 2019 Prescription Drug Survival Guide or visit Course #3, 5 & 6 to learn what your Medicare Part A, Part B and Part D options can be.

Toni King the author of Medicare Survival Guide® Advanced, is offering a Medicare Open Enrollment book package special at www.tonisays.com. For questions about Medicare email info@tonisays.com.