Medicare Updates

Many people are shocked when they find out how huge Medicare spending is. In 2021, Medicare spending hit a new high of about $900 billion. However, signs seem to indicate that Medicare will be paying out even more in the coming years.

Although there is some kind of change to Medicare almost every year, the Medicare updates in 2023 are significant. They will affect both companies in the medical industry and patients. They will lower costs for some while increasing costs for others.

So what is going on with Medicare and what can you expect to happen in 2023? Read on to learn all about the biggest updates to Medicare and how they might affect you!

Medicare Deductibles Are Decreasing

One of the Medicare updates that many people appreciate is decreasing deductible costs. In 2022, the Part B deductible was $233.

As inflation goes up, deductible costs tend to go up as well. However, in 2023, deductible costs will not only not rise with inflation, but they will also decrease.

This is even more remarkable when you account for the fact that inflation has been higher than usual in recent months and years.

Instead of a $233 deductible, the annual Part B deductible in 2023 will be $226.

On the other hand, Medicare is actually increasing deductibles on Medicare Part D. In 2022, this deductible was $480. In 2023, the new limit is set at $505.

Part A Costs Are Going Up

Something that people are less happy about is the increasing costs of Part A deductibles. In 2022, the Part A deductible was set at $1,556. However, in 2023, that number will go up to $1,600 per stay at a hospital.

Premium-free Part A Medicare is available for people who work a certain amount. However, if people do not work enough to qualify for it, their monthly premium will go from $499 a month up to $506 each month.

That does not mean that everyone will be paying this amount. However, those who were already paying $499 each month before will now have to pay a little extra.

New Medical Limits on Insulin Costs

On the other hand, costs are going down when it comes to insulin. In 2022, Congress passed and the president signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. This law lowers the prices of many kinds of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries.

However, many people are most excited about what is going on with insulin. According to this new law, the copay for a 30-day supply of insulin covered by Medicare will top out at $35. Not only that, but this cap applies even if people have not met their deductible yet.

However, it is important to remember that this only applies to people who have their insulin covered by a Medicare drug plan. If your plan does not cover insulin, then these updates won’t apply to you.

Free Vaccine Availability

This same law also allows people to receive certain vaccines free of charge. If a vaccine is recommended for adults by the CDC, then Medicare will cover the cost.

Of course, many vaccines are already covered under Part B. Flu shots and Covid shots are free under Medicare Part B and that will continue to be the case in 2023.

Medicare Part B will also cover the cost of vaccines that you need because you have been exposed to a specific disease. For example, if you step on a rusty nail and are at risk of developing tetanus, then Medicare will cover the cost of your tetanus vaccine.

For many years, some people have been unhappy with the cost of the shingles vaccine. In some cases, people have to pay $200 for a dose of this vaccine. However, new laws in 2023 state that the shingles vaccine will be free to beneficiaries of Medicare even if they haven’t met their deductible yet.

Manufacturers Are Facing Potential Penalties

Drug makers are less happy about new laws that may hit them with heavy fines. In 2023, if a manufacturer raises the price of their drugs faster than the general rate of inflation, they will have to pay a rebate to the Medicare system.

Of course, this makes it much less profitable for drug makers to bother raising their prices this much. Some people imagine that drug companies will be raising prices and then paying huge rebates to Medicare. However, others predict that companies will simply avoid raising their prices so that they can also avoid paying this rebate.

The Prices of Drugs Will Change

One of the biggest changes to Medicare is that it will begin negotiating prices with drug manufacturers. This has never happened before. However, many people expect that this negotiation will lead to much lower prices for some drugs.

That may then turn around and make drugs much more affordable for people with Medicare.

Many people are concerned that health insurance makes it so that medical providers have little incentive to keep their costs down. However, we may not need to change the health insurance system if Medicare can negotiate for lower prices.

Telehealth Options Will Change

During the pandemic, many people realized how essential telehealth can be to providing long term care under unusual circumstances. In the past, people had to have video calls for their telehealth appointments.

However, new Medicare rules are allowing patients to speak with their providers on the phone without any video required.

Understand the Most Important Medicare Updates in 2023

We hope learning about the most significant Medicare updates arriving in 2023 has been helpful to you. Tens of millions of people around the country are going to find their treatment affected.

Although not everybody is happy about some of the upcoming changes to Medicare, many people are happy to see some of their biggest costs going down.

To learn more about how to get the most out of your Medicare plan, reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!