Here’s Why Your Medicare Part B Premiums Could Drop in 2022 and Beyond

Here’s Why Your Medicare Part B Premiums Could Drop in 2022 and Beyond
Photo by Tom Werner/Getty Images

Federal officials could reduce the highest-ever increase in Medicare Part B premiums after manufacturers of a new Alzheimer’s medication announced a significant price cut in their drug.


Uncertainty about Medicare coverage of Aduhelm was one of several factors driving the 2022 Part B rate hike of 14.5% for most beneficiaries. While no decision has been made on the drug’s coverage, drugmaker Biogen recently cut the price of the drug from $56,000 per year to $28,200, according to a recent Associated Press report.


That cut led Xavier Becerra, secretary of Health and Human Services, to suggest “there is a compelling basis … to reexamine the previous recommendation” of Part B pricing, he said in a statement provided to the AP.




The Food and Drug Administration approved Aduhelm in June, a decision that sparked controversy over the drug’s effectiveness as well as the approval process itself. A decision by Medicare officials on whether the drug will be covered is expected soon.


Any reduction in the Part B premium wouldn’t counteract the entire increase: According to a fact sheet from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the cost of Aduhelm was only one of three key drivers for the premium spike, also citing rising health care prices and utilization as COVID concerns dissipate, as well as a $3-per-month increase in 2022 stemming from legislation that kept the 2021 increase below 3% for most beneficiaries.


It remains unclear when or whether any changes would take effect; the AP report suggested only that Becerra’s statement could “open the way for a reduction later in the year.”


Get a full breakdown of the 2022 rates, which vary by income level, at this link. MOAA Premium and Life members can email questions about Medicare or other benefits programs to our benefits counselors. More information on Medicare is available at this link.



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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