For the first time in over a decade, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that Medicare beneficiaries will enjoy a lower premium in 2023. That’s welcome news for seniors living on a fixed income and struggling with dramatic price increases on, well, everything.
The standard monthly premiums in 2023 will be $164.90 in 2023, a decrease of $5.20 from 2022. The reduction comes after a big spike in 2022 premiums—a 14.5% increase in Part B premiums.
President Biden noted the drop in premiums at a White House event, sending a clear message of support for Social Security and Medicare. The mid-term elections are not far away, so these messages are not purely altruistic, but for seniors, they are essential.
A key driver of the hike in 2022 was a projected spend for an expensive new drug for Alzheimer’s. But since then, the drug’s manufacturer said it would cut the price, and CMS said it would provide limited coverage for its drug. The lower-than-forecasted cost was part of the drop in 2023 premiums.
Another reason for the drop was lower spending on other Part B items and services, meaning the Part B trust fund actually had an increase in its reserves. More good news.
The annual deductible for Medicare Part B beneficiaries will be $226 next year, a decrease of $7. That may not sound like much, but every dollar counts for seniors living on a fixed income.
Medicare Part B covers physician services, outpatient hospital services, home health services, durable medical equipment, and other medical and health services not covered by Medicare Part A.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed by Congress in August, will also have an impact in 2023 for Medicare beneficiaries. Starting July 1, for a one-month supply of covered insulin, the cap for cost-sharing is $35. And those on Medicare who receive their insulin through a pump won’t have to pay a deductible. This benefit is for people who use pumps supplied through Part B.
These changes to Medicare Part B premiums come as seniors also expect a larger increase in their Social Security benefits. The COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) will be announced next month and will be significantly higher than in 2022. Whether or not it will keep up with inflation is unknown.
Our office continues to offer free consultations on Medicare in addition to free consultations for Elder law and estate planning matters. The number of choices and plans for Medicare can be overwhelming. We are pleased to offer our knowledge and experience to community members.
Reference: CNN “Seniors to get a break on Medicare Part B premiums in 2023 (Sept. 27, 2022)