There are many moving parts to Medicare. Many people wonder if any changes or updates are made to the program from year to year. If there are any changes, it can be challenging to know exactly how or if they will affect your Medicare coverage.
So, is Medicare changing in 2023? The short answer is yes. Some changes are coming your way. If you’re looking to stay up to date with other important Medicare information, visit boomerbenefits.com/faq. But let’s take a look at how Medicare is changing for 2023.
Inflation Reduction Act
The Joe Biden administration passed the Inflation Reduction Act on August 16th, 2022. This act is meant to decrease Americans’ cost of living, including the costs associated with Medicare Part D. The Medicare Part D program will undergo various changes throughout the next seven years as a part of the Inflation Reduction Act timeline.
In 2023, there will be a few changes to the Part D program. First, a monthly cap of $35 will be applied to certain insulin medications. Second, Part D plans will cover all Part D vaccinations at 100%, including the shingles vaccination. Lastly, drug manufacturers will not be able to increase drug prices at a higher rate than inflation. If they do, they will receive a penalty. More changes will continue through 2029.
These changes are meant to make Part D medications more cost-effective for Medicare beneficiaries over time. So, be on the lookout for these changes!
Medicare Part B Premium & Kidney Transplants
Another change is coming in 2023 for those eligible for Medicare early due to End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). People who have ESRD can qualify for Medicare before 65.
Until now, once 36 months have passed since a kidney transplant, or a person no longer receives dialysis treatments for 12 months, they lose Medicare eligibility. This means they can no longer receive coverage for immunosuppressant medications needed to treat kidney-related health issues.
However, this is now changing. In 2023, people who qualify for Medicare early due to ESRD will be able to pay for Medicare Part B to keep that coverage past 36 or 12 months. However, this coverage will be for immunosuppressant drugs only. In other words, if someone with ESRD purchases Part B, it is only coverage for the related medications and not coverage for other medical services.
People with ESRD who pay for Part B will also have a reduced monthly premium compared to the standard premium. However, they may still be charged extra if their income level is above a certain amount.
2023 Medicare Costs
The costs associated with Medicare parts and plans also change yearly, including premiums and deductibles. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) typically releases these numbers around the end of every year.
Medicare Part A
Most people qualify for premium-free Part A because they have at least 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment. However, those who do not have enough work quarters or have not paid Medicare taxes will pay a monthly premium for Part A.
Depending on how many quarters someone has, they either pay $274 or $499 each month for Part A in 2022. However, these numbers will increase to $278 or $506 in 2023. Part A also has different coinsurance amounts for inpatient hospital stays, so you’ll want to know those numbers.
Medicare Part B
Unlike Part A, everyone must pay a monthly premium for Part B unless someone qualifies for Medicaid. Most people pay the standard Part B premium, which will be $164.90 in 2023 compared to $170.10 in 2022. The Part B deductible will also decrease from $233 to $226 next year.
Also, remember that if your income level is above a certain amount, you may pay more for your Part B premium. Social Security bases this on your tax return two years prior, so this may also be a change for you.
Medicare Part D
Each year, CMS also chooses the maximum Part D plan deductible. In 2022, the maximum was $480, which will increase to $505 in 2023. A plan can choose to have a lower deductible, but it cannot set the deductible higher than $505 in 2023.
The extra income level charge also applies to Part D premiums, so keep that in mind.
Some changes are coming to the Medicare program in 2023, specifically for Medicare Part D. Starting next year, there will be reduced costs for some insulin medications, and all Part D vaccinations will be covered in full. People that have Medicare due to ESDR will also see some new benefits coming their way.
Medicare Part A, B, and D costs also change each year. So, make sure you know the new numbers for 2023. Doing so will set you up for success!