The winds of change are blowing in Medicare and swirling up opportunities for your insurance business! Now’s the time to connect with Ritter about growth.

Continued implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 is bringing big changes to Medicare drug benefits for the 2025 Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), starting on October 15. As a result, beneficiaries will have lots of questions and potentially want to switch plans. That’s where you come in!

Here’s a summary of what’s coming, the resources you need to feel confident, and your next steps to growing your business.

The 2025 Medicare Changes That Will Rattle the Industry

The following changes will significantly impact Medicare enrollees, likely causing confusion, questions, and the desire for different coverage. Familiarize yourself with this information to better assist your clients.

Part D Deductible to Increase

CMS will raise the maximum annual Part D deductible, like it usually does every year. In 2025, the highest allowable Part D deductible will increase from $545 to $590 — a $45 increase. (For reference, the Medicare Part D deductible increased $25 between 2022 and 2023 and $40 between 2023 and 2024.)

Part D sponsors can’t set a deductible higher than this amount. They may choose to have a lower deductible or even none at all. Part D beneficiaries must pay 100 percent of their gross covered prescription drug costs until the deductible is met (if there is one).

Coverage Gap Phase Elimination & OOP Capped at $2,000

The IRA’s implementation is restructuring Part D coverage phases for 2025, simplifying them from four to three phases and spreading the costs out differently. What does this mean for beneficiaries?

  • Annual out-of-pocket (OOP) costs will be capped at $2,000 (a $6,000 decrease from 2024)
  • Coverage gap phase will be eliminated (the ultimate end to the donut hole)

The IRA attempts to keep costs for drugs lower for enrollees and the capped OOP costs aim to do just that. KFF reported Part D enrollees taking only brand-name drugs will spend roughly $3,300 of their own money before reaching catastrophic coverage in 2024, so your clients could see savings of about $1,300 in 2025.

With the elimination of the coverage gap phase, your clients will move directly from the initial coverage phase to the catastrophic phase starting in 2025. Carriers will absorb most of the costs in the catastrophic phase.

A New Medicare Prescription Payment Plan

Although your clients’ OOP costs will be lower, they’ll still owe up to $2,000 out of pocket. Starting in 2025, Part D enrollees will have the ability to manage these costs in the form of capped monthly payments. The Medicare Prescription Payment Plan means your clients won’t have to pay upfront and in full at the pharmacy for their covered drugs.

Large Monthly Premium Increases

While benefits will substantially improve for Part D enrollees, more costs will fall on plan sponsors. Because of this, we expect carriers to raise monthly premiums to compensate. We can’t say for sure how much they will go up but likely enough to make your clients wonder about switching from Original Medicare and a Part D plan to a Medicare Advantage plan or lower-cost coverage.

Our best guess is Part D plans will see $40 to $50 increases in their monthly premiums.

Reduced Supplemental Benefits

Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans will be able to absorb increased costs better than stand-alone prescription drug plans. However, we also expect to see carriers offset increased costs by changing and/or decreasing their Medicare Advantage supplemental benefits.

Why Agents Should Follow the Medicare Change

We predict that your clients and community will have lots of questions regarding these upcoming changes and their coverage and will need your help. Imagine if you suddenly didn’t have to pay as much for your prescription drugs or saw a big spike in your premium. They will need the thoughtful responses of an advisor, aka you!

We expect a busy AEP. Many beneficiaries will need help from an advisor, and you can assist by certifying and contracting to sell Medicare now. We can help you understand these products and how to sell them, ensure your portfolio has the most competitive plans in your market, and get you ready to achieve record-breaking sales.

Ritter Insurance Marketing is here to help you — from contracting to compliance and sales tips and everything in between.

When you fill out the form, your local Ritter sales specialist will reach out to discuss these changes, what it looks like in your local market, and how Ritter can help you capitalize on these growth opportunities.

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IRA & AEP Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these useful resources about the IRA and AEP.