Medicare's Part B monthly premium will increase by $21.60 in 2022. This is the largest 'dollar amount' increase in the program's history. This news followed Social Security's earlier announcement the of largest cost-of-living increase in 30 years (5.9%) beginning in 2022 for those receiving retirement and disability checks.
In 2022, Standard monthly premiums for Medicare Part B will cost $170.10, up from $148.50 in 2021. This amounts to a rate increase of 14.5%. Yikes! The new premium rates go into effect on January 1, 2022
For those with Medical Supplement plans, the Part B Deductible will increase by about 15% also, from $203 in 2021 to $233 for 2022.
Though you may already be aware of the changes in 2022 Medicare Part B monthly rates, you may not be aware of Medicare's reasoning for this higher-than-expected rate increase.
One of the factors in the Part B increase for 2022 is that the Covid Relief Bill passed in 2020. Spending from this bill kept the 2021 rate increase ($4) artificially low.
Inflation is having a big impact also. We are experiencing the highest inflation rate in 30 years. Inflation effects healthcare by driving up the cost of healthcare supplies and services, which causes health insurance premiums to go up as well.
Another factor is the anticipated unprecedented spending resulting from the June 2022 FDA approval of the first new Alzheimer drug since 2003. This new and controversial drug, Aduhelm, comes with a cost of $56,000 year! The spending for this drug will fall under Medicare Part B because it is an infusion drug that will be administered in clinics and medical facilities under the care of a physician. With an estimated 6 million Medicare beneficiaries with Alzheimer's, the anticipated spending is a major factor in the Part B rate increase.
Here's a graph showing the Part B increase history over the last 10 years.
Hopefully, next year I can report that the Part B increase is more along the lines of a 3% increase.
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Medicare Plans & Education