If you already receive Medicare benefits, you’re probably aware that every fall, changes in costs and coverage are announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Millions of Americans are anxious to find out whether their budgets will be affected by higher premiums or deductibles that will go into effect for the following year. Retirees who live on limited incomes understandably worry about the rising costs of medical expenses. Let’s discuss how changes in Medicare Part B costs for 2022 may affect your healthcare coverage.
Medicare Part B (medical insurance) is a vital part of your healthcare coverage, and can help pay for doctor visits, outpatient services, lab work, preventive care, and durable medical equipment (DME). Although it is optional coverage, most Medicare recipients enroll as soon as they’re eligible to avoid late enrollment penalties they’d incur when enrolling later on. Most people who sign up for Part B will pay a monthly premium for the coverage.
CMS has announced that Medicare Part B premiums will be increasing in 2022. In 2021, the standard Part B premium was $148.50. In 2022, this Part B premium will increase to $170.10 for most recipients. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you will likely still pay your Part B premium, unless you qualify for Medicare and Medicaid and enroll in a Dual-eligible Special Needs Plan.
Medicare Part B also comes with an annual deductible, or amount you must pay before your coverage kicks in. The Part B deductible in 2021 was $203. In 2022, the deductible for Part B services will increase to $233.
Will Social Security increase along with Medicare costs?
Most Medicare recipients receive Social Security benefits due to age or disability. Benefits in 2022 will increase by approximately $70.40 each month, after the Medicare Part B premium is deducted. Looking at the big picture of your finances may help you accommodate increases in Medicare Part B costs.
Can I make a change to my Medicare insurance?
Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period goes from October 15 to December 7 and gives you the chance to make a change to your Medicare coverage. Take the time to compare your current plan to others available in your service area. It’s easy to explore plans with the help of online comparison sites that will allow you to determine if a different plan may better suit your needs in the upcoming year. If you make a change in coverage, your new plan will be effective on January 1.