In the event of a major accident, you will need to be rushed to the hospital, which can be costly. This is why a lot of people buy medical insurance. Recently, there has been some bad news for Medicare beneficiaries when it was announced that the Medicare Part B premiums won’t be reduced in 2023.
According to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra’s statement, the 2023 premiums should have been reduced by now. However, the officials were unable to do so due to legal and operational hurdles.
In fact, there has been an increase in the Medicare Part B Premiums by $22 per month. Now, the monthly premium is $170.10.
“We had hoped to achieve this sooner, but CMS explains that the options to accomplish this would not be feasible,” Becerra said. “CMS and HHS are committed to lowering health care costs — so we look forward to seeing this Medicare premium adjustment across the finish line to ensure seniors get their cost-savings in 2023.”
Waiting for the Fall
There are over 56 million insurance recipients who are waiting on the decision, which is expected to be announced in the fall. Hopefully, we will hear the good news.
How does this increase compare to 2021?
In 2021, Medicare Part B premiums were $148.50 and it only took one year to increase it to $170.10. There have been price increases earlier, but usually by a couple of dollars, but this one has been the most drastic rise yet.
If you don’t have your Medicare Supplement Plan, you can find all the details about coverage, pricing, and you can get several free quotes from top-rated carriers at MedicareConsumer.com
One of the major reasons for the Medicare Part B premium price jump was the research of the drug called Aduhelm. This medication is designed to slow down Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, at this point, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s which affects approximately 6 million people across the country.
FDA approved the drug, hoping that it would help Alzheimer’s patients by slowing down the progression of the disease and therefore delaying the inevitable and easing up the pain.
Approximately, 2 million Medicare users were subjected to a couple of Alzheimer’s treatments that were available under Medicare Part D, which is the plan for prescription drugs. One bullet point in Part B is the clinical research so it comes to no surprise that the price has been increased because of the development of Aduhelm.
What awaits us in 2023?
So far, it appears as if the beneficiaries will get the Medicare Part B Premium Reduction next year.
According to the CMS report, “It is certain, however, that any additional funding caused by including the uncertainty of potential Aduhelm costs in the 2023 premium will be used to reduce the necessary financing in 2023 and later”
“After receiving CMS’s report reevaluating the 2023 Medicare Part B premiums, we have determined that we can put cost-savings directly back into the pockets of people enrolled in Medicare in 2023,” was one part of the Becerra’s statement.
The attempts to lower the premium this year have been unsuccessful, unfortunately. Some others, besides Becerra, attempted to influence the officials and persuade them that reducing the premium price would have been a good idea.
AARP was one of them and Nancy LeaMond, the company’s executive vice president, chief advocacy and engagement officer said: “It is unconscionable for a single outrageously priced drug to drive up premiums for all Medicare beneficiaries — many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet. Now that the drug maker has cut the price in half, the Medicare Part B premium increase should be lowered as well.”
You Still Need Insurance
Even though the premium price increase wasn’t welcomed, there’s not much beneficiaries can do about it at this point. We can only wait and see what happens in 2023 when it comes to the price reduction and if there will be any at all.
For those of you that still didn’t select their insurance, monthly premium is a big factor when choosing one. When we are talking about Medicare Supplement Plans, you need to consider all the options and compare their prices before you make a choice.
The cost of the Medicare Supplement plans should remain unchanged, but you can wait for a few months and see what happens in this department.
Even though price is a crucial factor when selecting insurance, coverage needs to be your priority. If an insurance plan covers everything that you need, paying a few dollars extra per month isn’t that big of a deal. In fact, you will save a lot of money and you won’t have any major out-of-pocket costs.
Some of the most popular Medicare Supplement Plans for 2023
Choosing a Medicare Supplement plan is individual and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all decision. You need to go through the plans, compare the coverage and price, then make a decision. However, there are some plans which stood out and these are the following:
- Medicare Supplement Plan F
- Medicare Supplement Plan G
- Medicare Supplement Plan N
Each of these Medicare plans has certain benefits. Plan F is the most comprehensive plan that is ideal for people who visit the doctor’s office often or need to check in the hospital for checkups or treatment. On the other hand, Plan G offers everything Plan F does, minus the Medicare Part B deductible. Lastly, Plan N comes with the most affordable prices and it is ideal for people who want to fill in some gaps that exist even if you have Part A and Part B plans.
You can select each of these plans right now (or any other plan) or you can wait for the fall for prices to be announced. As we’ve already pointed out, there should be any price increase regarding the Medigap programs.