Medicare Part B Premiums Will Not Be Lowered in 2022

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AARP has urged CMS to lower this 12 months’s premium. “It’s unconscionable for a single outrageously priced drug to drive up premiums for all Medicare beneficiaries — a lot of whom are already struggling to make ends meet,” Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vp and chief advocacy and engagement officer, said in asking for a reassessment of the $170.10 premium. “Now that the drug maker has cut the value in half, the Medicare Part B premium increase ought to be lowered as well.”

CMS officials say that reflecting the savings in what Medicare will likely need to spend on those beneficiaries who shall be eligible for Aduhelm “within the calculation of the 2023 Medicare Part B premium is essentially the most effective method to deliver these savings back to individuals with Medicare Part B.” CMS is predicted to announce the 2023 Part B premium in the autumn.

Of their report, CMS officials say they determined that “a mid-year administrative premium redetermination to not be operationally feasible” and that the agency has never modified the premium in the midst of the 12 months. CMS notes that it wouldn’t have the authority to send premium refunds to all Part B enrollees. The report also says that absent the consequences of covering Aduhelm, the essential 2022 Part B monthly premium would have been $160.30. The 2021 Part B premium was $148.50.

Dena Bunis covers Medicare, health care, health policy and Congress. She also writes the “Medicare Made Easy” column for the AARP Bulletin. An award-winning journalist, Bunis spent many years working for metropolitan every day newspapers, including as Washington bureau chief for the Orange County Register and as a health policy and workplace author for Newsday.

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