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Shopping for Medicare? Watch These Trends

If you’re feeling the pinch at the grocery store, you’re not alone. Cost increases are everywhere. Medicare costs have risen too.

Medicare usually tweaks its costs and benefits every year. Although some 2022 costs have gone up, experts think we’ll see a drop in 2023.

Here’s our “shopping” list of the top Medicare-related trends to watch.

Medicare Part B Premiums

The biggest change in 2022? The monthly premium for Medicare Part B. It now starts at $170.10. That’s up $21.60 from 2021. People with more income pay an even higher monthly rate.

It’s the largest-ever dollar increase. To compare, the monthly Part B premium started at $99.90 in 2012.

Good news: Depending on where you live, some Medicare Advantage plans have a “give-back” benefit that covers all or part of the Part B monthly premium.

Also, because of some recent drug pricing decreases, the agency that oversees Medicare say they’re working on lowering the 2023 Part B premium cost.

Social Security

In January, people on Social Security began seeing 5.9% more in their monthly checks. This increase offset the higher Part B monthly rate. That’s thanks to the annual cost-of-living adjustment.

Even better news: Due to inflation, the cost-of-living rate could go up to nearly 8%. With the average Social Security check around $1,658, beneficiaries could get about $132 more each month in 2023.

Other Costs

Deductibles have increased across plans from last year:

  • Part A: $1,556, up $72
  • Part B: $233, up $30
  • Part D: $480, up $35

For Part A, premiums are usually $0 but are up for people with fewer than 40 quarters of work history. Coinsurance rates are also up for hospital and skilled nursing facilities.

Good news: Cost of the average payment for Medicare Advantage, or Part C, dropped. It’s now $19, instead of $21.22.

New Medicare Benefits

Medicare added new benefits for 2022.

  • Insulin: Caps on the monthly costs of some insulins to $35. Saving some people with diabetes an average of $446 a year.
  • Telehealth: Through at least the end of 2023, Medicare continues covering certain telehealth services. This includes therapy and counseling, urgent care, post-surgical follow-up, and more.
  • Chronic conditions: CMS increased by 25% the number of Medicare Advantage supplemental plans for people with chronic conditions. Plans cover choices such as at-home support services and over-the-counter medications.

Ready to Shop?

Keeping an eye on Medicare trends can make you a smarter shopper. If you want help reviewing your choices, check out our aisle. You’ll find our licensed insurance agents. They’ll assist while you shop for the right plan for your needs and budget.

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MR512 7/2022