Many people are surprised to learn that Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans change yearly. It's important to think about the year ahead and how your plan may be impacted by changes in 2023. Our editor-in-chief, Jeff Hoyt, sat down with Medicare expert Sharrese Sanders of QuoteManage to discuss some important changes ahead.
Here are six changes to Medicare you should know before next year.
1. Medicare Part A Deductible Increase
For 2023, the Medicare Part A deductible has slightly increased from $1,556 to $1,600. Medicare Part A, also known as hospital insurance, includes coverage for hospitals, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, hospice, and home health care.
Pro Tip: Visit our guide to Medicare enrollment to make sure all of your ducks are in a row this year!
2. Medicare Part B Savings
Monthly premiums for Medicare Part B are going to decrease in 2023. Previously, premiums were $170.10 a month. In 2023, they will drop down to $164.90 a month. Additionally, the annual deductible for Part B beneficiaries will drop from $233 to $226.1
Part B of Original Medicare includes coverage for preventative care and medically necessary services. Mental health, ambulance services, durable medical equipment, and labs/X-Rays are a few things included under Part B.
3. Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage plans (often referred to as Part C of Medicare) are offered through private insurance companies in cooperation with the government. They often include dental, vision, and hearing coverage. Unlike Parts A and B, Medicare Advantage plans have a maximum out-of-pocket limit. There are significant changes happening to Medicare Advantage plans in 2023.
Pro Tip: Last fall, 42 percent of Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. This number is growing each year. It is projected that the majority of Medicare beneficiaries will be enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans by 2030.2
4. Affordable Insulin
The Inflation Reduction Act changed many tax laws and will impact Medicare because it will improve access to affordable treatments. One change in 2023 will limit a month's supply of insulin to $35, with no deductible. Additionally, certain vaccines will be available at no cost, including vaccines for shingles, pneumonia, COVID-19, and the flu. Under the act, more changes will go into effect each year through 2029.3 Lower prescription drug prices and a yearly cap on out-of-pocket drug costs will be implemented in 2025.4
Did You Know? Insulin is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to managing diabetes. Older adults with diabetes should stay on top of their cholesterol, blood pressure, dental health, and vaccines. It's also very important to stay up to date with wellness exams and cancer screenings.5
5. Spending Cards
In response to feedback received from enrollees, Medicare Advantage plan carriers have come up with different flex spending cards. These cards can be used toward rent, utilities, gas, internet, cell phone bills, food, vitamins, allergy medications, and more. It is one card with separate wallets to use for different benefits. These cards are not available in all areas of the country, so it's important you speak with a licensed broker to learn what is available to you.
6. Home Visits
The pandemic changed the way we function as a society in many ways, including how we receive care. Under Medicare Advantage plans, you may be able to receive routine care from your primary care provider right at home. This would cost the same amount as what you would normally pay in the office. This benefit is particularly helpful to older adults and other Medicare beneficiaries with disabilities, or those who are caregivers to loved ones.
Did You Know? House calls could actually cost taxpayers less, while making health care more accessible to older adults with health conditions. In fact, a 2014 study estimates that home care for Medicare beneficiaries with several illnesses could save around $4.8 billion a year.6
From decreases in Part B deductibles and premiums to new or improved Medicare Advantage benefits, there are many beneficial changes to Medicare in 2023 to look forward to. Just remember, while Original Medicare is a vital program for seniors, it doesn't cover everything. It may be worthwhile to consider a Medicare Advantage plan. Keep in mind that Medicare Open Enrollment ends Dec. 7, 2022.
Interested in learning more about changes to Medicare in 2023? Watch our interview with Sharesse Sanders below!