Proposed Changes to Medicare Part B in 2023 . . . What You Need to Know
You have probably heard that substantial changes might be coming to Medicare Part B in 2023.
At this time, we don’t know exactly what will happen, because Medicare has not finalized plans. But here is what you should be thinking about now regarding upcoming changes. If you get them on your radar now, you will not be surprised later.
Let’s Start with a Quick Review of Medicare Part B Basics
To review, Medicare Part B covers your medical and physician costs.
Unlike Medicare Part A, Part B isn’t free. You pay a monthly premium for it, and that premium can change – and it might change again in 2023. In 2022 for example, the Medicare Part B premium increased $21.60 per month over 2021. That was the largest increase in the history of Medicare.
Why did Medicare add that amount to what you pay? It was because Medicare wanted to increase the amount of money that was being held in the Medicare trust fund to be sure there will be enough residual funding in it to cover the costs of Aduhelm, an expensive new Alzheimer’s medication that Medicare subscribers could potentially need. But here’s a secret for you. It is possible that the size of that Part B premium you are paying could actually go down or stay level in 2023. Why? Because Medicare has already set aside enough money to offer coverage for members who could be prescribed Aduhelm.
In-Depth Information about Medicare Part B Costs
In 2022, the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees is $170.10. Again, that represented an increase of $21.60 from $148.50 in 2021.
Take Out Your Calendar: Changes in Medicare Enrollment Periods Could Be Coming in 2023 Too
Other significant Medicare Part B changes in 2023 could affect changes in the Medicare Effective dates and new Special Enrollment Period.
As has been the case in the past, everyone who enrolls in Medicare will still get a seven-month initial enrollment period (IEP) when they turn 65 – the period when they enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B. Yet in 2023, the effective date of your Medicare Coverage could change, including the time periods when certain Medicare enrollees will have Medicare coverage.
But don’t worry . . . speak with a CoverRight Medicare advisor to discuss your coverage needs. And remember, the biggest impact these changes might have will be that your effective enrollment date in Medicare will be earlier than expected if the CMS moves the effective date up to the first day of the month following when you enroll.
But Here’s a Pothole to Avoid . . .
Remember that if you fail to enroll during the IEP for Medicare Part B, you will generally have to wait until the next Medicare Part B General Election Period to apply for Medicare, which will take place between January 1st and March 31st of the following year.
And that can be a problem! If you don’t apply until then, your Medicare Part B coverage will not start until July 1st of that year. That means you will have a period of time when you are not receiving Part B coverage. Plus, you will pay lifetime penalties. Those penalties can add up since they are calculated based on the number of preceding months when you were not covered.
But stay tuned, because an additional new Special Enrollment Period is part of the proposed 2023 changes.
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