On April 6, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services (CMS) released
the "2021 Announcement of Calendar Year (CY) 2021 Medicare Advantage (MA) Capitation Rates and Part C and Part D Payment Policies" (Announcement) that included finalized defined
standard benefits for 2021 Medicare Part D prescription drug plan coverage and other proposed changes to the Medicare program.
Each year, CMS releases the Medicare Part D benefit parameters for the "Defined Standard Benefit" and Medicare Part D plans use this information to determine plan coverage for the up-coming plan year. You can use the CMS parameters as a preview of how your Medicare Part D plan coverage may change in January, 2021 (for example, if you currently pay a $435 deductible, your deductible in 2021 may be $445).
Actual plan options and benefit details will be available for your review beginning October 1, 2020 and you can make 2021 plan changes during the fall annual Open Enrollment Period (AEP) (October 15th through December 7th).
As an overview, the following graph shows the 2021 Medicare Part D plan parameters and how standard Medicare Part D plan coverage has changed since the 2006 beginning of the Medicare Part D program.
Based on the 2021 Announcement, here are the changes to the standard Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage: