Medicare’s Part B monthly premium for 2022 will increase by $26.60, the largest dollar increase in the health insurance program’s history, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on Nov, 12. Standard monthly premiums for Part B will cost $170.10 in 2022, up from $148.50 in 2021.

Medicare Part B covers doctor visits, and other outpatient services, such as lab test and diagnostic screenings. CMS officials gave three reasons for the historically high premium increase:

  • Rising prices to deliver health care to Medicare enrollees and increased use of the health care system. Some of the higher healthcare spending is being attributed to COVID-19 care.
  • In 2021, because of the pandemic, Congress took action to significantly lower the expected Part B premium increase for that year. In 2021, the Part B premium increased only $3 a month. Congress directed CMS to pay back that reduced premium over time and that a payback is starting in 2022.
  • CMS is setting aside money in its reserves in the event it decides that Medicare will cover, Aduhelm, A new Alzheimer’s drug that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this year. CMS is still doing an analysis to determine whether Medicare will cover Aduhlem, and how an any similar drugs to treat Alzheimer’s. CMS officials said the fact that they are setting aside money to cover the use of that drug “In now way implies what the coverage determination will be” but that they have to plan for the possibility that Medicare will cover this high-cost drug, whose price has been estimated at $56,000 a year.

CMS officials stressed that while the 14.5 percent Part B premium increase is a stiff one, the Social security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) at 5.9 percent, the largest in 30 years is estimated to average $71.40 per beneficiary. So even after the increase in the in the Medicare Part B premium, most Social Security recipients, whose Part B premiums are typically deducted from their Social Security benefits, will still see a net increase in their monthly check. The COLA goes into effect in January.

Premiums for some Medicare enrollees will be higher than the standard because these monthly payments are based on income. Pat B beneficiaries with annual income greater than $91,000 will pay more – how much more will depend upon income. For example, someone filing an individual tax return whose income is between $91,000 and $114, 000 will pay $238.10 a month for Part B. CMS says about 7 percent of Medicare beneficiaries will have to pay more than the standard monthly premium.

Most Medicare enrollees must pay Part B premium whether they have original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan. Some Advantage plans offer a so-called “give back” benefit where the plan covers part or all of a member’s Part B monthly premium. Consumers can contact their broker or reach out the HNC Medicare Insurance Direct.

Other Medicare charges also rising

The annual Part B deductible will rise $30 next year to $233, up from this year’s $203. For Medicare Part A, which covers hospitalization and some nursing home and home health care services, the inpatient deductible that patients must pay for each hospital admission will increase by $72 in 2022 to $1,556, up from $1,484 this year. Almost all Medicare beneficiaries (99 percent) pay no Part A premium. Only people who have not worked long enough to pay their share of Medicare taxes are liable for Part A premiums.

Open enrollment for Medicare began Oct 15 and continues through Dec. 7. During this period, beneficiaries can review their coverage and decide whether to make changes. Beneficiaries can speak with a local Broker or contact HNC Medicare Insurance Direct.

Medicare Part B Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts

Beneficiaries who file individual tax returns with modified adjusted gross income:Beneficiaries who file joint tax returns with modified adjusted gross income:Income-related monthly adjustment amountTotal monthly premium amount
Less than or equal to $91,000Less than or equal to $182,000$0.00$170.10
Greater than $91,000 and less than or equal to $114,000Greater than $182,000 and less than or equal to $228,00068.00238.10
Greater than $114,000 and less than or equal to $142,000Greater than $228,000 and less than or equal to $284,000170.10340.20
Greater than $142,000 and less than or equal to $170,000Greater than $284,000 and less than or equal to $340,000272.20442.30
Greater than $170,000 and less than $500,000Greater than $340,000 and less than $750,000374.20544.30
Greater than or equal to $500,000Greater than or equal to $750,000408.20578.30

Premiums for high-income beneficiaries who are married and lived with their spouse at any time during the taxable year, but file a separate return, are as follows:

Beneficiaries who are married and lived with their spouses at any time during the year, but who file separate tax returns from their spouses, with modified adjusted gross income:Income-related monthly adjustment amountTotal monthly premium amount
Less than or equal to $91,000$0.00$170.10
Greater than $91,000 and less than $409,000374.20544.30
Greater than or equal to $409,000408.20578.30

Source: CMS.gov

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