Here’s Why Your Medicare Part B Costs May Drop in 2023

Here’s Why Your Medicare Part B Costs May Drop in 2023
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Medicare beneficiaries who saw a double-digit-percentage increase in their Part B premiums for 2022 are in line for relief next year, according to a recent statement from the head of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).


High expected costs connected to Aduhelm, a new Alzhemer’s drug, played a part in a 14.5% jump in premiums from 2021 to 2022 for most Part B users; an HHS statement issued May 27 calls those expectations “an overestimate” and says “the reduction in premium costs attributable to Aduhelm will be incorporated into Medicare premiums for 2023 to lower Part B premiums paid by Medicare beneficiaries.”


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Discussions of a potential rate cut took place as early as January. At the time, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said changes could come later in the year; in the recent statement, he made clear the 2022 rates would remain in place.


“We had hoped to achieve this sooner, but CMS [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] explains that the options to accomplish this would not be feasible,” Becerra said in the statement, referencing a CMS report on the issue.


[RELATED: Your Medicare Part B Rates Will Spike in 2022. Here’s What You’ll Pay]


Medicare officially announced in April its decision to cover Aduhlem only in cases where the patient participates in an official clinical trial. This will significantly reduce the number of Medicare beneficiaries eligible for the drug, which reportedly had been priced as high as $56,000 for a year’s worth of treatments – a figure that’s since been cut in half.


Neither HHS nor CMS provided any indications of an expected Part B premium for 2023, nor did they clarify whether any planned rate reduction would equate to a lower premium or simply a lower-than-expected increase, given recent inflation trends.


CMS released information on the 2022 premiums – including income brackets determining premium adjustments – in November 2021.


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About the Author

Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and Follow him on Twitter: @KRLilley