Social Security Tips – November 2020

2021 Medicare Changes

On November 6, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2021 premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts for the Medicare Part A and Part B programs.

Medicare Part B Premiums/Deductibles

Medicare Part B covers physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, and certain other medical and health services not covered by Medicare Part A.  

The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees will be $148.50 in 2021, an increase of $3.90 from $144.60 in 2020. The annual deductible for Medicare Part B beneficiaries is $203 in 2021, an increase of $5 from $198 in 2020.

Medicare Part A Premiums/Deductibles

Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility, and some home health care services. About 99 percent of Medicare beneficiaries do not pay a Part A premium since they have at least 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment.

The Medicare Part A inpatient deductible that beneficiaries will pay when admitted to the hospital is $1,484 in 2021, an increase of $76 from $1,408 in 2020.

Medicare Open Enrollment – October 15, 2020 and ends December 7, 2020

Medicare beneficiaries can choose to enroll in fee-for-service Original Medicare (Parts A and B) or can select a private Medicare Advantage plan to receive their Medicare benefits.

Free, personalized counseling on Medicare options is available through the nonprofit State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.

For a fact sheet on the 2021 Medicare Parts A & B premiums and deductibles, including the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAA) please visit: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/2021-medicare-parts-b-premiums-and-deductibles

The Q&A for the month:

Question: I have a client whose wife died. He is 58 and she was 60. Does he have to do anything regarding SS benefits that might help him?

Answer: Your client can file for widower’s benefits at 60 or older, if his wife had 40 credits before she passed away. Of course, he is subject to the annual earnings limits until the month he turns full retirement age. He can file for a widower’s benefit and switch over to his own retirement benefit later, up to age 70, to earn the delayed retirement credits.

Right now, he should call his local office to ensure her death is reported and to file for the lump sum death payment, a one-time payment of $255. He can use our Social Security Office Locator to find his local office telephone number: https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp

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