Get the facts: Everything you need to know about Medicare
As the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) opens up on October 15, our latest HealthInsurance.com Medicare survey indicates that the majority of our Medicare-eligible participants make it a point to review their current Medicare coverage every year. The survey reached 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries ages 65 and older, asking them about their perceptions of their current Medicare plans, healthcare costs, technology, social media and retirement. Medicare AEP Survey Findings Key Finding #1: 63% review their Medicare coverage on an annual basis. Still, only 22% plan to make a change to their current Medicare coverage during the 2022 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. Of this percentage, 42% want to change plans because they’re looking for more coverage and benefits, which may be offered through a private plan like a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan. Other highlights: 33% are considering switching from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage.33% are considering changing from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.20% are considering changing their Prescription Drug Plans (Medicare Part D).Medicare Fact: Original Medicare (Parts A and B) provides hospital and medical coverage to Medicare beneficiaries. Meanwhile, a Medicare Advantage plan can be an alternative to Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans may be appealing because many offer extra benefits (dental, vision, hearing), while giving you an annual cap on your spending.It’s no secret for those aging into Medicare that the various Medicare plans can be overwhelming and confusing to Medicare beneficiaries. But our Medicare survey honed in on what - exactly - is more confusing to our participants.Key Finding #2: 41% say understanding benefits is the most challenging part of finding the right Medicare plan for their needs.Other highlights:26% feel there are too many Medicare plans to understand and choose from.17% say understanding the plan costs can be confusing.16% worry about scams or misleading information.Researching and Shopping For Medicare PlansWe also asked our Medicare-eligible survey participants about who they turn to as a trusted source to research their Medicare plan options.Key Finding #1: 58% research Medicare plans online to understand their options.Meanwhile, 37% call their licensed insurance agents for guidance, and 22% seek out a family member or friend for Medicare advice.Key Finding #2: 62% shop for Medicare plans online.Whether it’s insurance company sites, government websites, or online marketplaces, the majority of our survey respondents also turn to the internet when shopping for Medicare plans.Full Survey ResultsView the full Medicare survey results.Survey MethodologyThe above survey results were gathered through a national survey of 1,000 U.S. adults ages 65 and older from September 13-16, 2021. Certain quotas were applied, and the sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the 65+ population. (Margin of Sampling Error: +/- 3.1 percentage points)More 2021 HealthInsurance.com SurveysJuly 2021: Medicare Enrollment & Satisfaction SurveyJune 2021: Coronavirus Survey: Pandemic Health CheckupMay 2021: Coronavirus Survey Captures Work & Life In The New NormalApril 2021: Survey: Healthcare Habits And COVID-19 Vaccine ViewsMarch 2021: Coronavirus Anniversary Survey: One Year LaterFebruary 2021: Coronavirus Survey Findings: Coronavirus Vaccines & Prevention Amidst Pandemic FatigueJanuary 2021 (Part 2): Consumer Survey: The 2021 Super Bowl & Coronavirus ConcernsJanuary 2021 (Part 1): January Survey: A Look At 2021 & Healthcare Habits During COVID-19
When planning ahead for your healthcare expenses and how they align with your Medicare coverage, it’s very important to stay informed on the changes to Medicare each year. Several aspects of Medicare - particularly related to out-of-pocket costs - can change on an annual basis. Beyond costs or plan changes, Congress also occasionally proposes and passes legislation that often impacts Medicare benefits. In this article, we’ll review the recent changes, including the 2023 Medicare costs and an overall look at the state of Medicare in 2023. 2023 Medicare Costs: An Overview The Medicare costs that change each year are: Part A deductiblePart A daily coinsurancePart B deductible Medicare Part A CostsThe changes to Part A costs include:Part A deductible - $1,600, an increase of $44 from 2022Part A daily coinsurance for hospital stays over 60 days - $400 per day, an increase of $19 per dayPart A daily coinsurance for hospital stays over 90 days - $800 per day, an increase of $22 per dayPart A daily coinsurance for skilled nursing facility stays longer than 20 days - up to 100 days $200, an increase of $5.50 per month Keep in mind that it is possible to pay the Part A deductible more than once in a year. This would only happen when you have multiple hospital stays in one year, and your stays are separated by more than 60 days. In this situation, you’d pay the Part A deductible each time.When you pay the Part A deductible, that gets you 60 days in the hospital and 20 days in a skilled nursing facility. If your stay goes beyond those times, you’ll have to pay the updated daily co-insurance amounts indicated above. Medicare Part B CostsThe Part B deductible for 2023 decreased to $226. It was $233 for 2022. You have to pay the Part B deductible each year before Medicare starts paying its portion of your outpatient care. Unlike the Part A deductible, you’ll only be required to pay the Part B deductible once per year.After you’ve met the Part B deductible, Medicare will pay the first 80% of the cost for your care; you’ll be responsible for the remaining 20%. Besides standard Part B coinsurance, you might encounter Part B excess charges, which can be as much as 15% of the Medicare-approved cost for your care.There were no changes to these coinsurance costs for 2023. How Much Will Medicare Premiums Increase in 2023? The standard Part B premium for 2023 is $164.90, which is a decrease of $5.20 per month. This decrease takes some of the sting out of last year’s increase, which was one of the largest in history. You may pay a higher premium for Medicare if you have incomes exceeding $97,000 (single filers) or $194,000 (married filing jointly).In addition to the costs for using your coverage, you’ll also have to consider the cost for getting your coverage. Most people don't have to pay a premium for Part A coverage (because it’s been pre-funded through payroll tax deductions), but you do have to pay a premium for Part B coverage. Medicare Part D ChangesAnother major component of your Medicare coverage is Medicare Part D, also known as Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs). Part D is offered by private insurance carriers with a Medicare contract - not offered by the federal Medicare program. There have been major changes to Part D in the past year as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act. Some of these changes won’t take effect until 2024 or later, but a few of them will be effective in 2023. The changes that will be applicable for 2023 include:Caps on the cost of certain insulinTaxes on excessive increases in the cost for prescription drugsLowering the cost of many vaccinations covered under Part DEach of these changes will have an impact on both standalone Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans (MAPD). New Caps On Insulin PricesThe Inflation Reduction Act has brought us the Insulin Savings Program, which was a temporary “test program” that began in 2020. The program is now permanent and mandatory. But previously, it was optional: Part D plans could choose to participate on a voluntary basis.The Inflation Reduction Act limits monthly cost sharing for covered insulin products to no more than $35 for Medicare beneficiaries, as long as the insulin is on the plans formulary. No deductible will apply to these insulin prescriptions. For 2023 and beyond, insulin prescriptions are capped at $35 for a one month supply. This price level stays the same throughout the year, even if you enter the coverage gap or “donut hole.” Excise Tax On Excessive Cost IncreasesCost increases on prescription drugs, which are set by the manufacturers, will be subject to a new tax beginning in 2023. Medicare will use 2022 drug prices as a baseline and will investigate the prices for 2023 prescription drugs. If the increases from 2022 to 2023 are larger than the official rate of inflation, the manufacturer will pay a tax equal to 100% of the amount that the increase exceeded inflation for the year. Drug prices will be tracked each year in this way. The hope is that manufacturers will be less likely to increase prices aggressively since they won’t be able to keep any of the extra revenue that large cost increases used to bring them.While this new policy doesn’t directly reduce or limit the prices you pay through your drug plan, over time, it may allow for smaller copayments and coinsurance for your prescriptions. Reduced Vaccine Costs Under Part DThe Inflation Reduction Act is also impacting how much you’ll pay for vaccinations under Part D. Prior to 2023, most non-essential vaccines were subject to cost-sharing, which meant that you had to pay a copayment or coinsurance for them. For example, the shingles vaccine was famously expensive. For 2023 and beyond, many Part Dcovered vaccines will be available at no cost. This brings the Part D vaccinations into alignment with the rules and cost structure for Part B vaccines (like the COVID-19 and flu shots). This includes the shingles shot, so protecting against this painful illness will be cheaper starting in 2023. There are still vaccines that you’ll have to pay for under Medicare, even after these recent changes. Vaccines that are needed to treat injuries or exposure to certain diseases may still require cost-sharing. General Enrollment Period (GEP) ChangesThe last major change to Medicare in 2023 relates to entering Medicare when you’ve missed your original enrollment window. Most people get to enter Medicare when they turn 65-years-old. In that case, you have a seven-month enrollment period known as your Initial Election Period (IEP) during which you can enroll. If you miss this chance, you have to enroll during the General Enrollment Period (GEP). GEP runs from January 1st to March 31st each year. Previously, if you enrolled during the GEP, your Medicare coverage wasn’t effective until July 1, which left you with a significant gap in your medical coverage.For 2023 and beyond, your coverage will be effective on the first day of the month after you sign up during the General Enrollment Period, eliminating the lengthy waiting period. Learn MoreIf you still have questions about 2023 Medicare costs and how they impact you, call 800-620-4519 to speak to one of our licensed insurance agents. You can also view our Medicare resources online:Compare Medicare plans: Visit our Medicare plan comparison tool.Learn about Medicare: View our Medicare Learning Center.Note: These 2023 Medicare costs and updates are courtesy of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). For more information, visit the CMS newsroom.
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