Changes for 2022 in Medicare
Each new year brings change, and 2022 beckons new horizons along with changes to Medicare and Medicaid insurance. For 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, also known as simply "CMS," has released some important updates for the coming year. (CMS is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)
Like so many things we've seen over the past year or two, some of the changes are related to increase in costs associated with Medicare. The good news is that there are some benefits and information enhancements, too.
Changes in Costs
First, let's look at the cost increases. According to CMS, each year the Medicare Part B premium, deductible, and coinsurance rates are determined according to the Social Security Act. The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees will be $170.10 for 2022, an increase of $21.60 from $148.50 in 2021. The annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries is $233 in 2022, an increase of $30 from the annual deductible of $203 in 2021.
One way to look at it: The amounts of increases, when averaged and thought of in monthly terms, are about $2.15 more per month. That doesn't sound like a lot, but no one wants to see increases unless absolutely necessary. On the other hand, everyone can be relieved that the cost increases weren't more.
Why The Cost Changes
Part of the cost increases were related to overall rising prices, and partly due to congressional action. In short, lowering the cost in one area of Medicare premiums resulted in an increase elsewhere. In addition, the deductibles have increased, such as with Medicare Part A.
New Positive Enhancements
There's good news that for those who need insulin, an Enhanced Part D plan will cap insulin costs at $35 per month. There are also new strides in extending better care, including telehealth that can be conducted remotely and avoid trips to doctors and other facilities (important during times when COVID is still a huge question mark). This includes new initiatives for mental health care via telehealth as well.
Good Information For Planning Ahead
CMS is also releasing the information to help people look ahead and to plan. They do advise, "Medicare health and drug plan costs and covered benefits can change from year to year, so people with Medicare should look at their coverage choices annually and decide on the options that best meet their health needs." This is always good action (and that's right on target where Agency4RED can help). Be sure to visit with your insurance advisor to make sure your plan(s) are where they should be. As always, you can reach out to us at any time and we'd be glad to help you.