Every year the federal government makes changes to the Medicare program to strengthen it, keep up with new and expanding innovations and improve the health and wellbeing of beneficiaries. Below are some of the more significant changes in 2021.
- Medicare Cost Plans will be available in the same 21 Minnesota counties as in 2020.
- People with End Stage Renal Disease will be allowed to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan beginning January 1.
- Original Medicare now covers limited acupuncture treatments for people with chronic lower back pain.
- Prior authorization is required for certain outpatient services considered to be cosmetic procedures. These include:
- Blepharoplasty (reconstruction of the eyelid)
- Botox injections
- Panniculectomy (removing skin and fat from the lower abdomen)
- Rhinoplasty (plastic surgery on the nose)
- Vein ablation (closing off varicose veins)
- There will be 28 Medicare Part D plans available in Minnesota for 2021.
- Monthly premiums range from $7.30 to $104.70.
- There are two new programs available to help people with diabetes get the insulin they need at an affordable cost.
- Minnesota Insulin Safety Net Program (mninsulin.org)
- Part D Senior Savings Model (cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/part-d-senior-savings-model)
- The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued temporary program changes to allow people on Medicare greater access to medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To learn more, see the Minnesota Board on Aging’s 2021 edition of Health Care Choices for Minnesotans on Medicare publication available electronically at mnhealthcarechoices.com.