MILLION seniors could be offered lower Medicare premiums for 2022 after an Alzheimer’s drug cost less than expected.
Medicare Part B standard premium is expected to grow 14.5% this year, meaning those who rely on insurance will pay more than $21 more a month.
In addition to the standard premium, the deductible for Part B is also increasing in 2022, from $203 to $233.
That’s a 14.8% increase from 2021 to 2022.
This spike in premiums is due to inflation that is driving up the prices of goods and services in the wake of the pandemic.
However, there is a chance that Medicare Part B premiums for 2022 could actually be lowered.
It comes after Biogen – the maker of the Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm – issued a 50% discount on January 1, 2022.
On Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced that he was instructing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to reassess this year’s standard premiums following a “significant price change”.
The larger-than-expected premium was announced last November.
About half of Medicare premium increases are attributed to the potential cost of Aduhelm coverage, which means it is currently based on outdated information.
It has not been decided yet if Medicare will cover it, and if so, to what extent.
A CMS spokesperson said the agency is “reviewing the secretary’s statement to determine next steps.”
Medicare officials are expected to make a preliminary decision on whether it will cover Aduhelm or limit its use to certain patients this week.
A final decision will be made in the spring.
Why the drastic price drop?
Michel Vounatsos, chief executive officer at Biogen, said the goal of the price change was to help reduce costs for Alzheimer’s patients.
With this discount, the company is hoping to be able to treat 50,000 more patients.
“Over the past several months, we have listened to stakeholder feedback, and we are now taking important actions to improve patient access to Aduhelm,” Vounatsos said.
“Too many patients are not offered Aduhelm due to financial considerations and therefore progress beyond the benefit of initial treatment to address the underlying pathology of Alzheimer’s disease.
“We recognize that this challenge must be addressed in a way that is considered sustainable for the US health care system.”
The Sun also explained five Covid-19 support programs will continue in 2022.
https://www.the-sun.com/money/4440965/medicare-premiums-for-2022-could-be-reduced/ Medicare premiums for 2022 could be slashed to help millions of Americans