Millions of Americans will save on Medicare fees next year
Associated Press | 9/29/2022, 6 p.m.
WASHINGTON - For the first time in a decade, Americans will pay less next year on monthly premiums for Medicare’s Part B plan, which covers routine doctors’ visits and other outpatient care.
The rare 3 percent decrease in monthly premiums—a savings of $5.20 for most—comes after millions of Medicare beneficiaries endured a tough year of high inflation and a dramatic increase to premiums this year. Most people on Medicare will pay $164.90 monthly for Part B coverage starting next year.
“(To) millions of seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare, that means more money in their pockets while still getting the care they need,” President Biden said Tuesday in a speech from the White House Rose Garden.
The decrease will help offset last year’s $21.60 spike in monthly Part B costs, driven in large part by a new Alzheimer’s drug. Aduhelm, administered intravenously in doctors’offices, was introduced to the market last year with a $56,000 price tag. Medicare set strict limitations on the drug’s use earlier this year and the drugmaker has since cut the medication’s cost in half.
Medicare paid less for that drug than it expected this year, helping shore up reserves that allowed the agency to set the Part B premiums lower for 2023. Other Medicare services and items were lower than expected, too, but Medicare officials did not answer The Associated Press’ questions for details on those savings.
The lower Medicare premiums were announced just as roughly 66 million Americans are waiting to see how much their Social Security checks might increase next year. The cost-of-living increase to Social Security checks could be historic, roughly between 9 percent and 10 percent, according to analysts.