2018 Medicare changes-New Medicare Cards are coming

Medicare changes for 2018

New Medicare cards are coming

Medicare will mail new Medicare cards between April 2018 and April 2019. Your new card will have a new Medicare Number that’s unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. This will help to protect your identity. See an example of the new Medicare card at the Medicare.com website.

Things to know about your new Medicare card

  • You don’t need to take any action to get your new Medicare card.
  • The new card won’t change your Medicare coverage or benefits.
  • Medicare will never ask you to give us personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card. Learn more about the limited situations in which Medicare can call you by calling Medicare directly.
  • There’s no charge for your new card.

Whether you have been in Medicare for quite a while or are new to the federal health plan for individuals over 65, there are some important changes to the program for 2018.

Medicare experts strongly suggest that even if you are satisfied with your current coverage you should review your plans during open enrollment, which closes Dec. 7.

Here’s what’s new for 2018:

Part B premiums: Medicare Part B pays for doctor visits and other outpatient services.

• If you are on Medicare but not yet collecting Social Security benefits, your Part B monthly premium is expected to hold steady at $134.

• If you are collecting Social Security, which automatically pays your Part B premium, you’re paying about $109 a month in 2017 because of a law that prevents Medicare premiums from lowering Social Security payments. That amount could change for 2018 depending on how the 2 percent Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) affects your individual monthly payment.

Medicare Advantage (MA) premiums dip: The average monthly premium is expected to be about $30 next year, a slight decrease of $1.91 a month. MA plans are a private insurance alternative to original Medicare. They cover Part A (hospital), Part B (doctor and other outpatient services) and usually Part D, prescription drugs. Note: This is just an average. Premiums vary widely based on where you live and what your plan covers.

More choice of MA plans: The number of MA plans available across the country is increasing. In 2018, 99 percent of Medicare beneficiaries will have access to an MA plan, and 85 percent will be able to choose among 10 or more MA plans.

Prescription drug (Part D) premiums dip: These monthly charges are expected to decline slightly to an average of $33.50, compared with $34.70 a month in 2017. This premium decline will be the first for Part D since 2012. Premiums vary by where you live and what plan you select. Make sure your current plan still covers all your medications — and explore the cost.

Part D coverage gap narrows: Once the total cost of your prescriptions reaches a certain threshold — set each year by the federal government — you pay more for your prescriptions. That’s because of a quirky aspect of Part D called the coverage gap, also known as the doughnut hole. For 2018, once you have incurred $3,750 worth of drug costs, you’ll be in the coverage gap. At that point, you’ll pay 35 percent of the cost of brand-name drugs and 44 percent of generics. You’ll continue to pay those prices until the total cost of your drugs reaches $5,000. Once you’ve hit that limit, you’ll no longer be in the doughnut hole and you’ll pay no more than 5 percent of your drug costs for the rest of the year.

The doughnut hole has been narrowing each year since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010. The gap will close in 2020, and beneficiaries will pay 25 percent of the cost of all their prescriptions.

High-income surcharges: Medicare beneficiaries with incomes at a certain level pay higher Part B and D premiums. What’s different for 2018 is that more people will be subject to these surcharges because the income thresholds have changed. For 2018, if you are an individual earning $133,500 a year or a couple earning $267,000 a year, your premiums will increase. You can find the complete chart of the surcharges at Medicare.gov.

The NeuroCommunity Foundation is here for you:

For information about Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, support groups, wellness programs, education events, and local resources in northern Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Central Coast & Central Valley, contact us here or call 818-745-5051 to speak with Jan D. Somers, MSW, LCSW, BCD, Education Director, Parkinson & Movement Disorder Information Center, The NeuroCommunity Foundation.

The NeuroCommunity Foundation is a non-profit foundation. We provide support groups, educational conferences, resources, research updates/ clinical trials information and PD events in the SFV/Ventura/Central Coast/ Inland Empire.

 As we rely on donations to continue providing these services at no charge, if you would like to support our efforts, you can donate with ease and security at our website or mail us your gift. Please make sure and note our website as a bookmark in your computer. It is:  www.neurocommunity.org 

 The NeuroCommunity Foundation is exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donors may deduct contributions to the foundation as provided in section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.

 Mailing Address:  The NeuroCommunity Foundation

                                            23705 Vanowen St. # 216

                                                 West Hills, CA 91307

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Dear The NeuroCommunity Foundation friends,supporters and participants.

If you happen to shop at Ralphs and would like to support The NeuroCommunity Foundation, we would be most appreciative!. If you do shop at Ralphs, we will receive 1 % of your purchase through their community
contribution program. The NeuroCommunity Foundation's Non-Profit Org. number ( NP0 # ) is 82287

All you need to do is enroll online at www.ralphs.com OR by calling Ralphs at
800-443-4438 after September 1, 2016.

If you happened to enroll prior to Sept 1st, Ralphs requires you to register again.

For your convenience, step-by-step website registration instructions are found below or can be found at www.ralphs.com, click on Community, click on Community Contributions, click on ‘Enroll Now’. If you don’t have computer access, please call us at 1-800-443-4438 for assistance.

Use you Ralph’s Rewards Card to Contribute Here’s How:

If you do not have a Ralph’s online account
1. Go to www.ralphs.com/account/create
2. Follow the easy steps to create an online account
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www.ralphs.com and click on ‘Sign In’, enter your email address and password.
5. View all your information and edit as necessary
6. Link your card to your organization by clicking on:
a. Community Rewards – Enroll
b. Type our NPO number 82287 or Neurocommunity.org
c. Remember to click on the circle to the left of your organizations’ name
d. Click on Enroll to finish your enrollment process

(This means that you have already entered your email address and assigned yourself a password)

1. Log in to www.ralphs.com
2. Click Sign In
3. Enter your email address and password
4. Click on ‘Your Name’ (In the top right hand corner)
5. View all your information and edit as necessary
6. Link your card to your organization by clicking on:
a. Community Rewards – Re-Enroll
b. Type your NPO number or Name of your Organization
c. Remember to click on the circle to the left of your organizations’ name
d. Click on Enroll to finish your enrollment process