As the year 2020 arrives, Granville County’s “senior” residents should look for changes that will affect them as the year unfolds. Senior Services Director Kathy May offers a reminder that seniors should expect changes to social security, and Medicare that will make an impact on their finances and their healthcare. Changes to be expected are listed below:
Social Security recipients will be receiving a 1.6 percent cost of living raise;
The deductible for Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) will increase to $1.408 per benefit period. This deductible will not be of impact unless admitted for an in-patient hospitalization. For those who have a private supplement to go with their Medicare, the supplement should cover this dedictible, should they be admitted as an in-patient. The premium for Part A continues to be $0 for those who have more than 40 quarters (10 years) of Medicare-covered employment;
The deductible for Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) will increase to $198 per year. In addition, the premium for Part B is increasing to $144.60 per month. (The premium will be higher for individuals who have high incomes.) For most people, this premium is deducted directly from their Social Security check;
Supplement plans (private plans that can be purchased to fill the gaps in Medicare) are standardized in North Carolina, and are lettered A through N. Plan F, which has been the most popular plan for more than 20 years, can no longer be purchased after Jan. 1 for those who are new to Medicare. Those already on Plan F can keep it if they would like to do so. It covers the Medicare Part B deductible ($198 each year) as well as 20 percent of everything else that Medicare approves. It is recommended that those with questions or concerns should contact their insurance carrier;
Medicare Advantage open enrollment period is Jan. 1 through March 31 of each year. During this time frame, it is possible to switch Medicare Advantage plans (known as Medicare Part C). These plans are specific to the county of residence, so it is recommended to call doctors and local hospitals tp ensure acceptance of the plan being considered.
Granville County Senior Services helps inform, prepare and offer assistance to our seniors. For questions about these changes, as well as other concerns, please contact your local Senior Center in Oxford (919-693-1930), Creedmoor (919-528-0848) or Stovall (919-693-3383).