Some of the new Medicare changes, as of 2015, include lower government support for private Medicare plans, higher drug deductibles, and a wider selection of drug plans, according to the American Association of Retired Persons. The New York Times reports that Medicare payments to doctors now depend on the quality of their care and the value they deliver to patients, as opposed to the volume of their services.
Up to 10 million enrollees in the largest drug plans in the United States face a rise in premiums of up to 52 percent if they stick to their plans, notes AARP. However, those enrolled in three of the other large plans in the country stand to see premiums lowered by up to 31 percent. Individuals who have Medicare Advantage plans may face higher costs because of new annual health deductibles for plans, which shifts some of their costs to enrollees. A bill passed in April 2015 by the U.S. Senate prevents a reduction in Medicare fees to doctors and ensures senior citizens on Medicare continue to enjoy quality health care, according to The New York Times.
Medicare beneficiaries get more discounts on drugs, as they only have to pay 45 percent on brand-name drugs or 65 percent on generics. However, fewer drug plans than in previous years provide more choices and offer extra gap coverage. Few plans waive the drug deductibles, and the maximum annual deductible has risen by $10. More plans charge a deductible ranging from $1 to $320, as of 2015, reports the American Association of Retired Persons.