Medicare premiums are going up in 2022. The following reprint from the newsletter of the RC 43 – Teacher Retirees in Florida explains why.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said on November 12, 2021 that the standard monthly Part B premium for next year will be $170.10. That’s an increase of 14.5%, or $21.60, from 2021. The annual Part B deductible will be $233, an increase of $30 from 2021.
The increases were due in part to rising health care costs and higher utilization of health care services, Medicare said. Medicare beneficiaries potentially being prescribed the Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm, which was approved by he Food and Drug Administration earlier this year, was also to blame, Medicare said. Aduhelm’s price tag – $56,000 per person each year – has been criticized and has raised questions about the strain it would put on Medicare’s finances.
The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated in June that if just a quarter of the 2 million beneficiaries who were prescribed an Alzheimer’s treatment under Part D in 2017 took Aduhelm, it would cost Medicare $29 billion in one year. To put that into perspective, Medicare spent $37 billion on all Part B drugs in 2019, KFF said.
Since Aduhelm must be administered by a doctor, it is covered under Part B and not under a prescription drug plan. Medicare started a National Coverage Determination in July to determine whether and how the agency would cover the treatment and other similar Alzheimer’s drugs.
“While the outcome of the coverage determination is unknown, our projection in no way implies what the coverage determination will be, however, we must plan for the possibility of coverage for this high cost Alzheimer’s drug which could, if covered, result in significantly higher expenditures for the Medicare program,”