Lots of changes are happening this 2022 year, but the most drastic so far is to Medicare. The largest Part B increase happened this year with over a $21.00 increase to premiums, making each premium $170.10. The reason for the premium increase is in part due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the cost of the Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm. Though the premium increase will be somewhat offset by the increase in social security (5.9%).
Another big change to Medicare this year is the annual deductible for Part B rising $30.00, making it now $233.00. Even Part A has increased $72.00 (now $1556.00). Thankfully, for prescriptions under the Part D benefit hasn’t changed, remaining $480.00 for the year. There is a Part D “enhancement” that caps some insulin costs at $35.00 a month. 2,159 Part D Medicare Plans have agreed to participate in the “enhancement”.
Telehealth is getting a big change with Medicare this year as well, especially those who need mental health/behavioral health services. CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) officials say that counseling and therapy services, along with services for substance use disorders will be more readily available; though especially in more areas where people may not have access to broadband. Medicare will be paying for mental health visits beyond the governing rules concerning the pandemic meaning mental health telehealth provided by either rural health clinicians and federally qualified centers will be a covered benefit.