Everything You Need to Know About How Medicare Has Changed in 2021

Each year, Medicare beneficiaries receive an Evidence of Coverage (EOC) and Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC) letter outlining the changes in their coverage and out-of-pocket costs.
When you receive this information you should take time to review it carefully, because Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D costs can change year-over-year, sometimes slightly, but other times significantly.
Here, we’ve outlined some of the cost and coverage changes from 2020 to 2021 that you should be aware of.
Medicare Part A changes in 2021
Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) covers inpatient hospital care and surgery, skilled nursing facility (SNF) care, hospice, lab tests, and home health care.
1. Premium
As long as you or your spouse contributed Medicare taxes for a certain amount of time, you won’t pay a monthly premium for Part A. If you don’t qualify for premium-free Part A, you can buy it.
In 2021, if you worked and contributed taxes for 30-39 quarters, the Part A premium increased by $7 to $259 per month. If you worked and contributed taxes for less than 30 quarters, your monthly premium increased by $13 to $417.
2. Deductible
Medicare’s Part A deductible also increased by $76 from 2020 to 2021. In 2021, the amount you must pay before Medicare begins covering your costs is $1,484.
3. Coinsurance
If you’ll be an inpatient in a hospital for more than 60 days, you’ll owe coinsurance for each benefit period.
For days 61-90, you’ll pay $371 per day, an increase of $19 per day from 2020. For each day beyond 90 days, you’ll pay $742 per day, up $38 per day.
If you’re admitted to a SNF, the coinsurance for days 21-100 increased by $9.50 per day, for a cost of $185.50 per day.
Medicare Part B changes in 2021
Medicare Part B (medical insurance) covers medically necessary services or supplies and preventive services. This includes doctors’ visits, durable medical equipment (DME), outpatient procedures, ambulance services and more.
1. Premium
In 2021, beneficiaries will pay a Part B monthly premium of $148.50. This is only an increase of $3.90 per month, but if you make more than $87,000 per year (or $174,000 per year as a couple), premium costs will increase incrementally based on your income.
2. Deductible
The Part B deductible also increased slightly, up $5 from 2020 to $203 per year in 2021.
Medicare Part C changes in 2021
Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, combine Part A and Part B coverage and offer additional services such as vision, dental and hearing. Because these plans are offered by private insurance companies, costs vary by plan and can change from year to year. To learn the changes from 2020 to 2021, contact the plan directly.
That said, while most plans have lower out-of-pocket maximums, the cap increased from $6,700 to $7,550 in 2021.
Another difference in coverage is that people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are now eligible to enroll in more MA plans. Previously, those with an ESRD diagnosis were not able to enroll, or were limited in the type of plan they could purchase.
Medicare Part D changes in 2021
Part D prescription drug costs also vary by plan, and premium costs may be adjusted based on your income. Costs include deductibles, copays and coinsurance.
One change is the maximum out-of-pocket, which increased by $200 in 2021 to $6,550. You’ll pay 25% of the cost of your medications until you’ve reached that amount.
Source: iQuanti, Inc.