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Lower Medicare Part B, Medicare Advantage, and Part D Average Premiums Announced

In advance of the upcoming Medicare Open Enrollment period, which begins on October 15, the Biden administration announced a lower standard monthly premium and deductible for Medicare Part B enrollees. In addition, the administration announced slightly lower average Medicare Advantage and Part D premium rates for 2023.

The standard monthly Part B premium will be $164.90 for 2023. This is a decrease of $5.20 (from $170.10 in 2022) and is largely due to the decision to limit Medicare coverage of the controversial, and expensive, Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm. The 2022 Part B premium included a contingency margin to cover projected spending on the new drug. This estimate was later revised downward. CMS previously announced the resulting savings would be reflected in the 2023 premium. The annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries will be $226 in 2023, a decrease of $7 from the annual deductible of $233 in 2022.

The average premiums for both Part D plans and Medicare Advantage are lower for 2023 than in 2022. The average Medicare Advantage premium is $18 a month, down from $19.52, and the Part D premium is projected to be $31.5 from $32.08. It is important to note that these are changes to the average premium, and any given plan may have premiums that have increased, decreased more than the average, or remained the same. People with Medicare should review their current plan and other options available in their area to ensure they are enrolled in the plan that works best for their particular needs.

The release from CMS also includes a reminder that, as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act, people with Medicare coverage for their prescription drugs through a Medicare Part D plan or Medicare Advantage will be able to access insulin for a maximum cost sharing of $35 per prescription, per month, plus $0 cost-sharing on recommended adult vaccines.

During open enrollment time, people with Medicare can change how they access their health and drug benefits. People who choose Original Medicare, with or without a Medigap or supplemental plan, can enroll in or change their Part D plan, which provides prescription drug coverage. The new plan will start on January 1. People who choose to access their Medicare benefits through a Medicare Advantage plan can also review their plan choices and, if they wish, change their plan for next year.

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