AP

Millions of Americans will save on Medicare fees next year

Sep 27, 2022, 11:30 AM | Updated: Sep 29, 2022, 6:44 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time in a decade, Americans will pay less next year on monthly premiums for Medicare’s Part B plan, which covers routine doctors’ visits and other outpatient care.

The rare 3% decrease in monthly premiums is likely to be coupled with a historically high cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits — perhaps 9% or 10% — putting hundreds of dollars directly into the pockets of millions of people.

“That’s something we may never see again in the rest of our lives,” said Mary Johnson, the Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League. “That can really be used to pay off credit cards, to restock pantries that have gotten low because people can’t afford to buy as much today as they did a year ago and do some long-postponed repairs to homes and cars.”

The 2023 decrease in monthly Medicare premiums comes after millions of beneficiaries endured a tough year of high inflation and a dramatic increase to premiums this year. Most people on Medicare will pay $164.90 a month for Part B coverage starting next year, a savings of $5.20.

The decrease helps to offset last year’s $21.60 spike, which was driven in large part by a new Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm, administered intravenously in doctors’ offices and introduced to the market last year with a $56,000 price tag. Medicare set strict limitations on the drug’s use earlier this year and the drugmaker has since cut the medication’s cost in half.

Medicare paid less for that drug than it expected this year, helping shore up reserves that allowed the agency to set the Part B premiums lower for 2023, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare said in a statement Tuesday. Spending on other Medicare services and items was lower than expected, too. The annual deductible for the Part B program will also decrease $7 to $226.

President Joe Biden lauded the lower Medicare premiums during a Rose Garden speech Tuesday.

As the midterm elections near and Biden’s administration struggles to contain the painful side effects of inflation, the White House has increasingly trumpeted its work around curtailing health care costs.

“(To) millions of seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare, that means more money in their pockets while still getting the care they need,” Biden said.

Biden pointed to more cost savings on the way for some Medicare recipients starting next year thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, which will require Medicare to cover the cost of recommended vaccines for older Americans and will cap monthly insulin copayments at $35 per month. Other provisions in the legislation, including a rule that allows Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies on the price of some medications, will take a few years to kick in.

The bill received no support from congressional Republicans, a talking point the White House has frequently pushed in speeches and across its social media accounts in recent weeks.

Republicans have a different slant on the subject.

“Desperation is setting in at the White House,” the Republican National Committee said in response to Biden’s speech Tuesday. “Voters have a clear choice in the midterms as they know Biden and the Democrats sent costs for groceries soaring, created a recession and increased taxes.”

The lower Medicare premiums were announced as 66 million Americans await the announcement of next year’s Social Security cost-of-living increase for 2023. Analysts estimate that it could be historic, roughly between 9% and 10%. The exact amount will be announced next month.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Israeli Embassy...

Associated Press

US airman dies after setting himself ablaze outside Israeli Embassy in Israel-Hamas war protest

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

2 days ago

Biden and Trump to visit Mexico border Thursday immigration...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump both plan trips to the Mexico border Thursday, dueling for advantage on immigration

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will make dueling trips to the U.S-Mexico border on Thursday.

2 days ago

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

6 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

7 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

14 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

15 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

Millions of Americans will save on Medicare fees next year