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3 Changes Coming to Medicare That Every Beneficiary Should Know About

By July 10, 2018August 17th, 2021Health Insurance Medicare
A mature couple smiles while examining some figures

Good news! Some much anticipated changes to Medicare are on the horizon. So, whether you’re recently retired, newly enrolled in Medicare, or you’ve been on Medicare for a while, here’s what you need to know.

1. A New Look for Your Medicare Card

Your Medicare card is getting a makeover. Beginning in April of this year, Medicare began replacing their red, white, and blue cards with ones that no longer show your Social Security number. Instead, the cards will have a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) that will be used for billing and for checking your eligibility and claims status. Medicare is finally doing its part to strengthen fraud protection and ensure your personal information is secure.

Learn more and view a sample of the new Medicare ID card.

2. Medigap Changes Coming in 2020

Starting in 2020, Congress will no longer allow Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans C, F, and F High Deductible to be sold to newly eligible beneficiaries. Any newly eligible beneficiaries who purchase a Medigap policy after January 1, 2020, will be able to purchase a Plan D or G. The only difference between Plans C and Fand Plans D and G is the coverage of the Part B deductible under Plans C and F. All other benefits are exactly the same for D and G. If you currently have a Medigap Plan C, F, or F High Deductible policy, this will not affect you. The current Plan C, F, and F High Deductible plan that you have today will continue to cover you providing you remain in the plan and continue to pay your monthly plan premium. If you become Medicare eligible before January 1, 2020 based on disability or ESRD status, OR turn 65 before January 1, 2020, whether eligible for Medicare on that date or not, you would be eligible to buy a Plan C or F when you are entitled to Medicare Part A and enrolled in Part B.

3. Changes to the Prescription Drug “Donut Hole”

If you have a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, you’ve probably heard of the coverage gap that’s sometimes called the Medicare donut hole. This means that after you and your Medicare drug plan have spent a certain amount of money for covered prescription drugs, you may have to pay for some or all the costs of your prescriptions up to a certain limit. There are exciting changes to the donut hole scheduled between now and 2020. Basically, the amount you will have to pay in the donut hole will decrease each year. Which means that a year and a half from now, you’ll pay no more than 25 percent for covered brand-name and generic drugs in the donut hole!

Learn more about Medicare drug savings coming through 2020.

Find out what else is going on in the world of Medicare. Visit

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.

Website last updated: 5/28/2018
Y0041_HM_18_65161 Approved 7/16/2018


Kortney Cruz

As Senior Vice President of Government Markets at Independence Blue Cross, Kortney provides overall leadership to Independence’s Medicare businesses, including operations, sales and marketing, risk analytics, and performance management, as well as oversight of the company’s Medicare STAR ratings initiatives and marketing Keystone HMO CHIP products and services to the communities we serve, and helping those communities enroll into the Medicare and CHIP coverage they need. She is directly responsible for acquisition and member retention marketing, product development, sales operations, and sales management at Independence in the Medicare and Keystone HMO CHIP area. Her goal is to deliver innovative and value-driven communications, and she is passionate about enriching the connection between Independence Blue Cross and our membership.