A New Year brings new changes to many insurances… this includes Medicare. Whether its changes to the premiums, deductibles, and cost sharing (copays and/or coinsurance) amounts to the actual underlying coverage of services it is hard to keep up sometimes. On top of the normal changes, there are some huge changes to Medicare due to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 that was signed into law on August 16, 2022. There are several provisions that will go into effect over the next several years. Continue reading to see what some of the biggest changes coming in 2023 include.
One of these changes that may help many Medicare enrollees is the new cap on Insulin copays. It is stated that copays for a 30-day supply of any insulin that a Medicare drug plan covers will be capped at $35, even if the member has not meet the Part D deductible. Kindly note that not all Medicare Part D plans pay for every type or brand of insulin.
Another big change that may help many enrollees is what vaccines are covered. Typically, things like your flu and pneumonia shots, COVID 19 (both initial shots and boosters) as well as hepatitis B vaccines are free to some enrollees under Medicare Part B. There are other vaccines that are covered under the Medicare Part D (drug) plans-, which include the Shingles vaccine (Shingrix) for example. In the past, the Shingrix vaccine could be up to $200 or more per dose (which is a 2-dose vaccine) based on your plan’s deductible and cost sharing charges. However starting in 2023, per the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022- this vaccine and others recommended by ACIP will be free to beneficiaries, even if their Part D deductible has not been satisfied.
While there are more than just these two things in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 for Medicare beneficiaries, the other items are phased in over the next few years. The last thing that we will discuss briefly are those changes to Medicare that are considered “normal” changes. These include changes to the premiums and deductibles for Medicare Part A, B and the “average Part D Plans.”
What comes as a surprise to most people- the monthly premium for Medicare Part B (Doctor Coverage) actually decreased for 2023 to $164.90 per month for the base premium, down from $170.10 in 2022. Kindly note that you may be subjected to the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) surcharge if you are considered a high-income earner (single tax filer over $97,000 or Married File Joint taxpayers over $194,000). Another thing that has decreased for 2023 is the Part B Deductible- it’s down to $226 instead of the $233 it was in 2022.
While the premium and deductible went down for Part B in 2023- the Part A deductible and the average Part D deductible has increased. For Part A (Hospital) the deductible has increased to $1,600 per benefit period (up from $1,556 in 2022). In addition, the average Part D (Drug) plan deductible has increased to $505 in 2023 (up from $480 in 2022).
I know that Medicare can be complex and confusing. If you have any additional questions, or would like to talk about different options available – I invite you to reach out to us.
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