As a Medicare insurance agent, you need to be there for your clients. Seniors are dealing with the logistical stress of navigating a complex system of benefits. And they’re tangling with emotional stress from the uncertainty around health insurance. This is especially true when it comes to the 2023 changes in Medicare insurance.
Seniors want to make sure their health will be protected, and you’re often their guide and primary resource. Staying up-to-date on developments in benefits means you’ll be prepared when your clients come to you with questions.
What are the 2023 changes in Medicare insurance?
To kick off 2023, one of the most significant news items is an increase in social security benefits thanks to the latest Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). You can expect seniors will want to know more about this, so here are three questions (and answers!) to help you get up to speed!
1. What is this social security benefits increase?
The COLA increase in 2023 is the biggest increase in social security payments since 1981. Seniors will see an 8.7% increase in their monthly social security checks.
For the average senior receiving social security, this will amount to another $146 in their pocket each month, increasing their benefits income from $1,681 to $1,827. Of course, this will vary depending on the senior and their existing benefits coverage.
With one in four American seniors receiving nearly all their income from social security, this change will impact quite a few people—including many of your clients!
2. What is the impact of 2023 changes in Medicare insurance?
Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles are also going down in 2023. As you may remember, 2022 saw increased premiums as experts anticipated great demand for the Alzheimer’s drug ADUHELMTM.
But because usage of Aduhelm was lower than expected, the cost of the drug has decreased. This means Medicare Part B premiums are actually going down this year instead of up.
Between this decrease and the social security benefits increase, many seniors are looking at more money in their pockets. But do they know to expect the extra cash? Educating Medicare beneficiaries about this change will be a common topic for insurance agents this year.
The social security benefits increase will start in January 2023, so seniors are already hearing about changes and formulating questions for you. Great customer service means staying up-to-date with these changes and being ready with the answers!
3. How will the benefits increase impact Medicaid?
If you have seniors who are on both Medicare and Medicaid, the timing of the benefits increase and the impact on their plans can get tricky. Medicaid varies from state to state, so check your state’s specific regulations and make sure you understand the local effects of this federal change.
When looking at increases to a fixed income, Medicaid plan coverage often feels the impact. Many seniors’ incomes will increase thanks to the COLA increase. Make sure you are prepared to explain how this will impact Medicaid in your state.
The benefits increase may affect the timing of when you sign seniors up for their plans. With checks increasing this month, now is also the time to review your state’s guidelines to see how this interacts with other important timelines for Medicaid.
Seniors expect their Medicare insurance agent to know how to navigate these timelines so they don’t have to. Staying current with Medicaid regulations in your state means your clients can count on you in times of change.
Helping seniors in 2023
Medicare and Medicaid can be confusing systems to navigate for seniors. When you’re knowledgeable about updates, you can more easily answer your clients’ questions about the changes they’re hearing from the news.
You need to be prepared for any question—but especially those around major developments affecting seniors. By reviewing this article, you already have a head start to guide seniors through their 2023 benefits process and be a more effective Medicare agent.
Taking the next step
We help you stay up-to-date on important news and changes impacting Medicare and seniors. For questions, or to get started, contact us today!
image credit: shutterstock/Orawan Pattarawimonchai