Lower 2023 Medicare Part B Premium Expected After Reassessment by CMS

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have released the Medicare costs for 2024. Please see our most recent post, 2024 Medicare Part A and Part B Premiums and Deductibles, for current facts and figures.

This fall, we expect you’ll have good news to share with your clients — a Medicare Part B premium reduction for 2023!

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have reexamined the Medicare Part B premium for 2022 at the request of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary. Their report identifies lower-than-expected spending and recommends those savings be passed on to beneficiaries.

Here’s what we know so far about this possible Medicare premium price decrease.

The 2022 Part B Premium Was Over-Estimated

The Medicare Part B premium increased a staggering 14.5 percent from 2021 to 2022. This rise in price was partly due to the anticipated high cost of the prescription drug Aduhelm™, which is used in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Increasing the Part B premium ensured the Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) Trust Fund would have the funds needed to cover the potential costs of Aduhelm™ and similar drugs.

The rise in the 2022 Part B premium price was partly due to the anticipated high cost of a prescription drug for treating Alzheimer’s.

In fall 2021, when CMS announced the 2022 Part B premium, Aduhelm™ was projected to cost an average of $56,000 per patient, per year. However, the drug manufacturer later revealed a reduced average price of $26,200, leaving a surplus of funds.

The Solution for the Part B Premium Surplus

HHS Secretary, Xavier Becerra, called for CMS to reassess the Part B premium amount for 2022, as a result of the drop in price of Aduhelm™. In response to this request, CMS weighed three potential options for redistributing these excess funds:

  1. Redetermining the 2022 premium
  2. Issuing a direct refund to beneficiaries
  3. Incorporating the savings into the 2023 premium

Due to legal and operational regulations, CMS concluded the only feasible option is reflect savings in the 2023 Part B premium.

CMS concluded the only feasible option is to reflect savings in the 2023 Part B premium.

Becerra spoke on the decision to the lower the premium payments for 2023 saying, “After receiving CMS’s report reevaluating the 2022 Medicare Part B premiums, we have determined that we can put cost-savings directly back into the pockets of people enrolled in Medicare in 2023 … We had hoped to achieve this sooner, but CMS explains that the options to accomplish this would not be feasible. CMS and HHS are committed to lowering health care costs — so we look forward to seeing this Medicare premium adjustment across the finish line to ensure seniors get their cost-savings in 2023.”

Waiting for the Official 2023 Part B Premium

Currently, CMS is still assessing other current and projected Medicare Part B costs to develop the premium recommendation for 2023. As usual, the upcoming year’s Part B premium will be announced in the fall through a notice in the Federal Register and we’ll report it here, along with the other costs of Medicare, on the Ritter blog.

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Although we’re not 100 percent certain if the Part B premium for 2023 will be lower, it’s very likely, and the prospect is exciting and encouraging! Come fall, we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for all 2023 Medicare info, and promptly sharing it with you. Make sure you register with RitterIM.com, so you can have free and full access to all of our resources and sales tools!

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