Greetings! I hope this post finds you in good health and enjoying the beautiful weather as summer comes to an end and fall creeps in on us.
We have been very busy at OHB preparing for another Annual Enrollment Period. As I say each year, we are either in our busy season or planning and preparing for it. We continue to add great, new team members as we grow – all in the name of serving you, our clients, with exceptional service. We have implemented some very cool hiring tools for helping us select smart, service-minded people and the results have been phenomenal. Just like our source of new business, our most successful source for new employees continues to be referrals. Most of our employees have been referred to us from our existing employees and family and friends.
By the time you are reading this post we will have been to all of our “first look” meetings with the insurance carriers as we get a sneak peek at changes for 2024. Medicare guidelines do not allow us to talk about specific plan changes before October 1st so we will keep those details out of this article. However, there is a sort of theme to what we are seeing from the insurance carriers for 2024 benefits. That theme seems to be solid medical benefits with no major negative changes and lots of “extra’s” (think dental, vision, OTC benefits, etc.). It looks like a few of the national Medicare Carriers are making name changes to their plans, but the benefits still look very strong. A name change to an existing plan might add a little confusion, but rest assured that a new name does not mean an entirely new product. These plans and carriers have been around for years and continue to be strong.
When you open your mail and see the changes (the ANOC) for next year please do give us a call if you have any questions or concerns at all. I think you will see that any changes in your plan are small “tweaks”, but we want to know if you have a concern or question. The wording on plan change documents can sometimes be confusing.
For our clients that have Medicare supplements along with a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan we are expecting some significant premium changes in the Part D plans across the board. More and more of the costs for Medicare part D drugs is being shifted to the insurance company and therefore we presume much of that will be shifted to the Medicare members. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 has several provisions to lower prescription drug costs for people on Medicare. In 2025 out of pocket Part D drug costs will be capped at $2,000 compared to $8,000 in 2024. This new, lower cap for 2025 is great news for people on Medicare with very high drug costs but will result in higher monthly Part D premiums for all except those on Medicaid. As Part D premiums continue to increase and Medicare supplement premiums increase, it may make sense to investigate a Medicare Advantage Plan. Of course, we can help with that investigation. We will do the analysis and make a plan recommendation and ultimately get you enrolled into a plan that makes sense for your needs.
Remember, if you need to make a plan change for 2024 the annual enrollment period runs from October 15 to December 7th. Give us a call at (866) 235-8378 or click here to email us your name and phone number for us to call you.