Starting in 2023, Medicare Part B premiums are set to decrease for most beneficiaries. While this may seem like good news at first glance, it's important to understand why the premiums are decreasing.
In the CareTalk episode, "Why Medicare Part B Premiums Are Going Down," hosts John Driscoll and David Williams explore what's behind the decrease in Medicare Part B premiums.
Why are the Medicare Part B Premiums dropping in 2023?
"Everyone wants to know; how much are Medicare premiums going up in 2023? And what's happened, the so-called part B premium, is going from $170 a month to a $164.90 and the deductible's dropping too from $233 to $226. Why? Aduhelm, that's the reason.
Last year the reason that the premium went up so much was because this new Biogen drug for Alzheimer's was being introduced and it was going to be a budget buster, like a blockbuster. And the premium went up almost 15%. Guess what? Aduhelm's not really being used...so, the premium's going down and that's the main driver. One drug." - David (CareTalk)
How does Medicare work?
"Medicare is primarily for people who are over 65 years of age. But also, it's for people with disabilities and will those with end stage renal disease. There is also this Medicare tax that goes along with your social security tax. And the idea is that's most to fund Medicare.
Medicare was originally so-called part A, that was the hospital insurance, but then they added part B later on. Part B is for outpatient services, like doctor visits and a whole bunch of other things, including some drugs that are prescribed like infused drugs, like Aduhelm on an outpatient basis. Part C is Medicare advantage. We talked about before. And part D is the outpatient drug benefit for people who have part A and part B, but not part C." - David (CareTalk)
How will the changes in Medicare premiums affect the mid-term elections?
"I think the only thing that's really going to move the needle with regard to healthcare is the Dobbs decision and the overturning of Roe V. Wade, which is got some of these very difficult cases of rape, incest, disabled children and the no exceptions abortion rules that are being set up in places like Arizona. I think the biggest healthcare lever in this midterm is going to be women's health issues.
Honestly, I think that the inflation reduction act, which is a material be capping insulin prices in a country where 30 to 40% of the people are obese and diabetes is raging, is absolutely critical. And increased insulin costs affect poor people more and vulnerable people more than anything. But the one big healthcare issue, I believe for the midterms is going to be women's health issues. I think the rest of this is kind of complicated healthcare noise."- John (CareTalk)
"I think that the Roe V Wade being overturned is the biggest healthcare issue for the election. Having said that, even people who are apolitical are going to be interested in what is coming out of my social security check next year for healthcare and isn't it nice that it's going down as opposed to up. And so, I think it will have some complimentary advantage that may accrue to the party in power." - David (CareTalk)
CareTalk is the only healthcare podcast that tells it like it is. Join hosts John Driscoll (President U.S. Healthcare and EVP, Walgreens Boots Alliance) and David Williams (President, Health Business Group) as they provide an incisive, no B.S. view of the US healthcare industry.