Good News, Medicare to be More Affordable in 2023

Medicare Part B rates will be reduced in 2023 for the first time in more than a decade, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Monthly premiums will be $164.90 in 2023, a $5.20 drop from 2022.

The drop, announced earlier this year by Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, comes after a significant increase in 2022 prices. Medicare users faced a 14.5% hike in Part B premiums in 2022, raising monthly payments for those in the lowest income category to $170.10, up from $148.50 in 2021.

President Joe Biden touted the lower costs during an afternoon ceremony in the Rose Garden on Tuesday, using the news to position Democrats as the party that will defend Social Security and Medicare.

This campaign, aimed at the critical demographic of older voters, arrives six weeks before the midterm elections. Biden slammed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Republicans’ proposal released last week, calling it a thin collection of policy principles with little or no clarity.

The President also chastised Republican Senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Rick Scott of Florida for proposing to make Social Security and Medicare discretionary rather than obligatory services. What do you think they’ll do when the House Budget Committee starts talking about Medicare and Social Security costs and why we can’t pay them? Biden posed the question to the crowd in the garden.

The anticipated increase in spending owing to a pricey new Alzheimer’s disease treatment, Aduhelm, was the leading cause of the 2022 increase. However, Aduhelm’s maker has reduced the price, and CMS has limited the drug’s coverage. The government stated that the lower-than-expected spending will be included in the 2023 premium.

Also, expenditure on other Part B products and services was lower than expected, resulting in substantially greater reserves in the Part B trust fund, allowing the agency to restrict future premium hikes. Next year, the yearly deductible for Medicare Part B participants will be $226, a $7 drop from 2022.

Part B of Medicare covers physician services, outpatient hospital services, home health care, durable medical equipment, and other medical services that are not covered by Part A.

One of the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act, which Congress enacted in August, will be available to Medicare enrollees beginning next year. Beginning July 1, cost-sharing for a one-month supply of covered insulin will be limited to $35. In addition, persons with Medicare who use an insulin pump will not have to pay a deductible. This benefit will be provided to persons with pumps purchased via the Part B durable medical equipment benefit.

The hike in Medicare Part B premiums comes as seniors anticipate a larger-than-usual boost in Social Security payouts. High inflation is fueling the yearly cost of living adjustment, which will be revealed next month.

Seniors earned a 5.9% raise in 2022, the highest in decades, but skyrocketing price hikes swiftly outweighed it. According to the Senior Citizens League, the rise in 2023 might be 8.7%, increasing the average retirement payout by $144.10 to $1,656.