A New Year Brings Medicare Changes

The beginning of each year, Medicare changes take effect. Knowing the changes in Medicare are important for many reasons. This can help you in determining why you were billed a specific amount, understanding new things Medicare covers each year, and making sure you are taking advantage of all your benefits.

What all has changed in 2022 with Medicare?

Part A

  • Part A premium for people who have worked 7.5 to 10 quarters has increased to $274 a month (increase of $15)
  • Part A premium for those who have worked less than 7.5 quarters has increased to $499 a month (increase of $28)
  • Part A inpatient deductible has increased to $1,556 (increase of $72)

The first part of Original Medicare, Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing facility care, short-term nursing home care, home health services, and hospice. You are only required to pay your Part A premium if you have worked less than 40 quarters (10 years). Keep in mind that if your spouse has worked more than 40 quarters, then you will not have to pay your Part A premium.

Part B

  • Part B premium has increased to $170.10 a month (increase of $21)
  • Part B deductible has increased to $233 (increase of $30)

Your Medicare Part B is the part of your Original Medicare that covers your doctor’s office visits, outpatient care, and preventative and diagnostic screenings.

Part D

  • The maximum Part D deductible allowed has increased to $480 (increase of $35)
  • The out-of-pocket threshold will increase to $7,050 (increase of $500)

Part D covers your prescription medications. Part D is a stand-alone plan that works with a Medicare Supplement plan (not a Medicare Advantage plan). Some medications/services will fall under your Part B coverage.

Why are my Medicare costs going up?

With the 2022 changes in Medicare being the largest-ever dollar increase, many people (for good reason) wonder why. With the world around us changing since the pandemic, we expect some change in Medicare for this reason. The CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid) does point the rising healthcare costs to attribute to COVID-19.

Another reason as to why Medicare costs for beneficiaries are going up could be due to a new Alzheimer’s medication called Aduhelm. CMS is foreshadowing that this medication could be extremely high in price, and if they look to cover it, there will need to be a way to lower the price of the medication. The annual price of this medication was $56,000, but once the Part B premium was raised, the price of the medication went down nearly half price. Many are looking for ways to appeal the increase in Part B costs, but as for now, the CMS has released this information to remain accurate.  

Coverage for COVID-19

With coronavirus still being a part of our daily lives, many wonder if the coverage will continue for Medicare beneficiaries, and the answer is yes. Here is everything that Medicare covers pertaining to COVID-19 (all must be FDA-authorized):

  1. Vaccinations
  2. Booster Shots
  3. Diagnostics Testing
  4. Antibody Testing
  5. Antibody Treatment

Reminder for 2022

Be alert for scammers trying to steal your Medicare card. We hear from clients that have this happen to them. With many people getting their COVID vaccines and booster shots, be aware that if they ask for your Medicare card number, this could be a scam.