Medicare Part B premium will fall in 2023
Medicare officials announced today that the standard Part B premium will decline next year by $5.20, to 164.90. That will be welcome news for retirees - especially those looking forward to a large Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), projected around 8.7%.
The Part B premium typically is deducted from monthly Social Security benefits. Over the past decade, premium increases have consumed most -or all - of any COLA. The decline in the Part B premium means that even more money will go into seniors’ pockets next year.
But it’s important to recognize that the drop essentially is a refund by Medicare for an inadvertent overcharge on the Part B premium this year. This stemmed from the circumstances surrounding Aduhelm, the controversial, and very expensive, drug for treating Alzheimer’s.
Aduhelm was approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration in June 2021 despite objections from the agency’s own scientific advisory panel. The drug initially was to carry a sky-high price tag of $56,000 per patient annually — a figure that the drug’s maker, Biogen, later reduced to $28,800.
Since Aduhelm is administered in outpatient settings, the cost would be borne by Part B, not Part D. Medicare officials factored in anticipated Aduhelm costs when the agency announced a 14.5 percent increase in the standard Medicare Part B premium for 2022, to $170.10 per month.
Medicare ultimately decided to sharply limit coverage of Aduhelm — but let stand the large Part B increase, citing administrative hurdles to a mid-year rebate. The lower Part B premium essentially refunds that overcharge.
The annual deductible for Medicare Part B beneficiaries also will fall in 2023 by $7, to $226
No such luck in Part A - the inpatient hospital deductible and coinsurance costs will rise next year, according to a Medicare announcement on 2023 premiums. If you are affected by the Income-Related Monthly Adjusted Amounts, you’ll find the new 2023 brackets in the same announcement.
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