1. Get Healthier!
If you need assistance to quit smoking or loose weight, your Original Medicare can help! Medicare beneficiaries are now entitled to a number of beneficial free preventive services that help improve health and well-being.
Starting 1 January, 2013, Medicare Part B pays for eight counseling sessions for people who need help to stop smoking. It also covers obesity screening and counseling for those who screen positive.
Need more? Medicare also pays for these screenings, trainings and supplies:
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening
- Alcohol Misuse Screening and Counseling
- Annual Wellness Visit
- Bone Mass Measurement
- Breast Cancer Screening
- Cardiovascular (Heart Disease) Screening
- Cervical and Vaginal Cancer Screening (Pap Test, Pelvic Exam)
- Colon (Colorectal) Cancer Screening
- Depression Screening
- Diabetes Screening
- Diabetes Self-Management Training
- Diabetes Supplies
- EKG – Heart Screening
- Flu Shot
- Glaucoma Test
- Hepatitis B Shots
- HIV Screening
- Medical Nutrition Therapy
- Obesity Screening and Counseling
- Pneumococcal (Pneumonia) Shots
- Prostate Cancer Screening
- Smoking Cessation Counseling
- “Welcome to Medicare” Exam
2. Improved Medicare Summary of Benefits.
Did you notice the revamp of the Medicare.gov website? Among the many changes is a vastly improved summary of benefits for Original Medicare.
The redesigned summary notices for Parts A and B use clearer language and a larger font that’s easier to read. You’ll also find new step-by-step instructions on how to make an appeal and report potential fraud.
3. Prescription drug coverage gap savings.
Medicare beneficiaries who buy drug coverage under Part D will see more discounts in 2013 as the coverage gap continues to close by 2020. In 2013, beneficiaries receive a 21% discount on all generics covered by their Part D plan, and a 52.5% discount on all brand-name covered drugs. All prescription discounts are automatically applied at the pharmacy when you make your purchase.
4. Reductions in outpatient mental health treatment costs.
In 2013, Medicare Part B offers lower coinsurance payments for most outpatient mental health care treatments. The new coinsurance rate is 35%. Your Medicare benefits pay the remaining 65%. If it’s your first visit (initial diagnosis), you’ll pay the standard 20% coinsurance.
In addition, your Part D plan will now pay for drug used in the treatment of chronic mental disorders, epilepsy, or cancer, including benzodiazepines and barbiturates.
5. Medicare premiums on the rise.
For most seniors, the cost of Medicare Part B increased a few dollars in 2013. Compared to the 20% to 50% increase non-seniors are facing this year, the $8 increase is a deal. If you are a higher income earner, your Part B may be significantly more, but still far less than private health insurance.
|If your yearly income in 2011 was||You pay (in 2013)|
|File individual tax return||File joint tax return|
|$85,000 or less||$170,000 or less||$104.90|
|above $85,000 up to $107,000||above $170,000 up to $214,000||$146.90|
|above $107,000 up to $160,000||above $214,000 up to $320,000||$209.80|
|above $160,000 up to $214,000||above $320,000 up to $428,000||$272.70|
|above $214,000||above $428,000||$335.70|
To get more information about your Part B premium, contact Social Security.