Changes to Medicare
Changes to Medicare in 2022 include a historic rise in premiums, as well as expanded access to mental health services through telehealth and more affordable options for insulin through prescription drug plans. The average cost of Medicare Advantage plans dropped while access to plans grew.
What Big Changes Are Coming to Medicare in 2022?
We will see several significant changes to Medicare in 2022. As far as expanded benefits, beneficiaries will see more access to things like mental health coverage and insulin. According to AARP, Part D enhanced plans, which can cap the cost of insulin at $35 a month, will now be available in every state.
Mental health care through telehealth is also expanding, with counseling and therapy set to become more widely available to beneficiaries across the country.
While Medicare benefits have expanded, costs have also risen. The Medicare Part B premium saw its biggest jump in history, rising to $170.10 from its 2021 cost of $148.50. The Part B deductible also increased by $30 to $233 for 2022.
The Part A hospital deductible is also on the rise, jumping $72 to $1,556. The Part A premium, which very few beneficiaries have to pay, is $274.
- As the pandemic wears on, Medicare has continued to adapt its coverage to it. In 2022, Medicare is expanding coverage to include new vaccines, diagnostic tests and more COVID-19 measures.
- Insulin Costs
- The cost of insulin could fall for beneficiaries in 2022, with 2,159 plans across all 50 states participating in a model that includes a monthly price of just $35.
- Medicare Coverage Choices
- The Medicare.gov plan comparison tool allows you to compare health and drug plans. You can enter your prescription drugs and get more accurate prices for plans in your area.
- Telehealth & E-visits
- Telehealth has seen a dramatic rise since the start of the pandemic, and Medicare continues to highlight its growing importance in coverage changes. In 2022, Medicare is set to increase the availability of mental health services, therapy and counseling through telehealth.
Medicare Part A Changes in 2022
Medicare Part A covers your inpatient care, including hospital stays or time in a skilled nursing facility. Part A is premium-free for 99% of beneficiaries. You would only have to pay a premium if you don’t have at least 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment.
|Quarters Worked||Monthly Premium Increase||Monthly Premium in 2022|
|30 to 39||$15||$274|
|0 to 30||$28||$499|
The Medicare Part A deductible increased by $72 — up to $1,556 for each benefit period in 2022. A benefit period begins on your first day of hospitalization and lasts for 60 days after you leave. Once your benefit period ends, your deductible starts over.
Medicare Part A coinsurance generally comes into play with extended hospital or care facility stays. Your share of the costs increases the longer you are hospitalized.
|Days You Are Hospitalized||Increase over 2021||Your Costs in 2022|
|0 to 60||No change||$0 per day|
|61 to 90||$18||$389|
|90 and Longer||$36||$778|
|After Lifetime Reserve Days||No change||All costs|
Medicare Part B Increases in 2022
According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the 2022 Part B premium increase is the largest in history. There are several factors that led to the historic jump. When the new figures were released, Medicare was still determining whether the new Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm would be covered, which could have significantly increased annual expenses given the drug’s price and number of beneficiaries who would qualify for it.
The rise of Medicare costs was also spurred by congressional action last year to lower the 2021 premium, as well as the typical rising prices across health care that prompt the smaller cost increases beneficiaries see annually.
The monthly premium you pay increases based on your annual income. The premium is $170.10 for individuals who make less than $91,000 and couples who make less than $182,000.
The Medicare Part B deductible increased by $30 to $233 in 2022.
Medicare Advantage Changes for 2022
Medicare Advantage plans — sometimes called Medicare Part C — are sold by private insurance companies that contract with Medicare. These plans include everything covered under Original Medicare plus expanded benefits like vision and dental.
The average monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage plan in 2022 is $19, a slight drop from the 2021 figure of $21.22. The number of plans available has increased by 8%, with 90% of plans also including prescription drug coverage.
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation report on Medicare Advantage updates, the average beneficiary will have access to 39 different Medicare Advantage plans in 2022, which is more than recent years. Medicare Advantage plans are available regionally, so beneficiaries who live in populated areas will have the most options to choose from.
Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan Changes for 2022
Medicare Part D prescription drug plan premiums vary by plan. You’ll need to check with your plan to find out about these changes. The average premium for a plan in 2022 is $33 per month, up from $31.47 in 2021.
There are many options available for drug coverage in 2022, with the average beneficiary having 54 plans to choose from. There is also a higher availability of insulin demonstration plans, with 2,159 Part D plans participating in this model.
Remember that many Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage. In 2022, there are 15% more Medicare Advantage plans that include drug coverage, but a 23% decrease in Part D plans.
Medigap Changes in 2022
Medigap — also known as Medicare Supplement insurance — helps you cover out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover.
The Medigap deductible increased to $2,490 in 2022, which is an increase from its 2021 figure of $2,370. There are several different Medigap policies with different costs and coverage. Insurance companies do not all sell the same plans.
It’s also important to remember that you can pair Medigap with Original Medicare, but not with a Medicare Advantage plan.
Frequently Asked Questions About Medicare Changes
Timeline of Historic Medicare Changes
Medicare undergoes changes yearly. Most of these changes affect you in the amount of money you have to spend or the benefits you receive.
Every so often, Medicare changes have a major, historical impact on the federal government’s health care plan.
Medicare was created by an act of Congress providing hospital care, extended post-hospital care and home health care to almost all Americans over the age of 65.
More than 19 million Americans enrolled in Medicare.
Medicare eligibility was expanded to those under 65 with long-term disabilities and End-Stage Renal Disease.
The HMO Act allows health maintenance organizations to contract with Medicare to provide Medicare benefits to beneficiaries who choose to enroll with their plans.
Medigap policies, sold by private insurers, are brought under federal oversight.
Medicare Part C takes effect allowing the sale of Medicare Advantage plans.
The Medicare Modernization Act establishes Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
The Affordable Care Act closes the Medicare Part D donut hole.
The Medicare Part B premium reaches a record-high jump with a $21.60 increase.
According to CMS, total Medicare enrollment as of October 2021 is at nearly 64 million. That includes nearly 28 million enrollees in Medicare Advantage or other health plans. Medicare Part D enrollment is just over 49 million.
5 Cited Research Articles
- Bunis, D. (2022, January 3). Biggest Medicare Changes for 2022. Retrieved from https://www.aarp.org/health/medicare-insurance/info-2022/changes-in-2022.html
- U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2021, December 21). CMS Releases Latest Enrollment Figures for Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/news-alert/cms-releases-latest-enrollment-figures-medicare-medicaid-and-childrens-health-insurance-program-chip
- U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2021, November 12). 2022 Medicare Parts A and B Premiums and Deductibles/2022 Medicare Part D Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/2022-medicare-parts-b-premiums-and-deductibles2022-medicare-part-d-income-related-monthly-adjustment
- Freed, M., Damico, A., Neurman, T. (2021, November 2). Medicare Advantage 2022 Spotlight. Retrieved from https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/medicare-advantage-2022-spotlight-first-look/
- Cubanski, J., Damico, A. (2021, November 2). Medicare Part D: A First Look at Medicare Prescription Drug plans for 2022. Retrieved from https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/medicare-part-d-a-first-look-at-medicare-prescription-drug-plans-in-2022/