As you review the new Handbook, you’ll see that new things are coming to Medicare in 2020. Below is a quick rundown of a few changes and improvements.
The eMedicare Initiative
CMS announced the eMedicare Initiative in 2018. According to CMS, “The eMedicare initiative’s goal is to provide a seamless online health care experience to meet the growing expectations for this generation of Medicare beneficiaries.”
This is a multi-year plan that includes numerous improvements and developments. The following changes will be available to help Medicare beneficiaries with their 2020 coverage:
- The What’s Covered App: This mobile app was released in early 2019. It is available as a free download through the Google Play Store and the Apple Store. The app lets people search for services to see whether they’re covered under Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
- The Procedure Price Lookup: It’s hard to know whether you’re overpaying for medical care, but the new Procedure Price Lookup makes it easier by providing national average prices for procedures.
- The Redesigned Plan Finder: Over the summer, Medicare released a redesigned version of its Plan Finder. The new Plan Finder is mobile-friendly and includes more details on Medicare Advantage plans, as well as personalized prescription drug list builder. Beneficiaries are encouraged to create an account for the best experience.
- The Updated MyMedicare.gov Site: Changes to the MyMedicare.gov site include the option to print an official Medicare card, as well as a secure way to share health information with third-party apps, research programs and health-related services.
- The Updated Medicare.gov Site: Sometime in late 2019, the Medicare.gov site will be updated with quality ratings, cost information and additional details on Medicare-participating doctors, hospitals and other facilities.
The new digital tools aren’t the only changes coming to Medicare for 2020. The benefits covered under Medicare are always evolving. Recently, changes from CMS have opened the door to new non-medical benefits being covered under Medicare Advantage. When comparing 2020 Medicare Advantage plan options, be sure to look for these new benefits, which include everything from meal delivery, transportation services, in-home services and adult day care options.
Telehealth benefits are also expanding in 2020. Medicare Advantage plans will be able to offer additional telehealth benefits that can be used from the beneficiary’s home, regardless of where the beneficiary lives. This can provide a fast and convenient option for care.
In recent years, the number of Medicare Advantage plans has been increasing, and enrollment has been up. Expect these trends to continue in 2020. Additionally, CMS says that Medicare Advantage premiums are expected to decrease by 14 percent and should average around $23 in 2020.