Big changes are looming in Medicare
A conversation with Medicare expert Philip Moeller on looming reforms to Part D, the advance of Medicare privatization and the outlook for the 2023 Social Security COLA and the Part B premium.
This week on the podcast, we take a wide-ranging look at important changes going on in Medicare. My guest is a top expert on the program - Phillip Moeller. Phil is an award-winning financial journalist and author who has studied both Medicare and Social Security very closely. He’s the co-author of one of the best books on Social Security, called Get What's Yours - The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security. And he is the sole author of two other volumes in the Get What’s Yours series, including Get What's Yours for Medicare: Maximize Your Coverage, Minimize Your Costs. Phil also writes an excellent newsletter on Substack, the same platform that I use to bring you my newsletter and podcast.
I talked with Phil about an important set of changes to the Medicare Part D prescription drug program that Congress seems about ready to approve. We should have news about the legislation by the end of this week, or perhaps over the weekend, and if it does become law, I’ll be writing more about it.
The bill would allow Medicare - for the first time - to negotiate the prices of the most expensive brand-name prescription drugs with pharmaceutical companies. That’s a big deal, and it could save quite a bit of money for enrollees and taxpayers over time - Medicaid and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs have been negotiating drug prices for years, and they generally pay about 30% less for drugs than Medicare does.
The legislation would also place a $2,000 cap on enrollees’ annual out-of-pocket costs. And it incents drug makers to avoid large price increases by penalizing them for increases that exceed the general inflation rate in the economy.
Here’s an overview of what the legislation would do, and when, courtesy of the Kaiser Family Foundation.
I also spoke with Phil about the ongoing privatization of Medicare through the Medicare Advantage program - and the next big potential privatization wave which is coming in the form of Accountable Care Organizations for people enrolled in traditional Medicare.
Finally, we speculated a bit about what the Part B premium and Social Security COLA will look like in 2023.
Click the player icon at the top of the newsletter to listen to my conversation with Philip Moeller.
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