The standard Medicare Part B premium increased to $170.10 per month in 2022, up from $148.50 in 2021.
The premium went up even more for higher income earners who pay an income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA), with the most expensive Part B premium increasing from $504.90 per month in 2021 to $578.30 per month in 2022.
This guide helps to explain why the Medicare Part B (medical insurance) premium typically will go up each year, as well as some ways you may be able to save on some of your out-of-pocket Medicare costs.
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The Part B premium is hardly the only Medicare cost that will go up every year.
The Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) premium also increases annually for those who are required to pay it. Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles typically increase each year, as well.
Medicare Part B coinsurance costs tend to remain steady at 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for a medical service or item, but that 20 percent share can go up as related health care industry costs increase each year.
There are a number of contributing factors to why Medicare costs go up each year, such as:
When you add it all up, you have fewer people paying Medicare taxes that support an increasing number of Medicare beneficiaries who are themselves living longer and being charged more for their care.
Increasing the Part B premium is one way that these rising costs are partially addressed.
Approximately 27 percent of Medicare Part B funding in 2017 came from beneficiaries’ premiums. Nearly 71 percent of Part B funding in 2017 came from general revenue, which consists mostly of federal income taxes.
Increasing the Part B premium by only a small percentage for each beneficiary can raise tens of millions of dollars for the Medicare program.
Your Medicare premiums aren’t the only thing that will go up each year: your Social Security benefit payment will typically also increase each year.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses the consumer price index for workers (CPI-W) to make annual adjustments to benefit payment amounts. This is called the cost of living adjustment, or COLA, and is a way to help benefit payments keep up with the cost of living.
The cost of health care often rises faster than inflation, however. Fortunately, the “hold harmless” rule prevents Medicare premiums from increasing by a higher amount than the Social Security COLA.
The hold harmless rule does not apply to you, however, if:
If you pay a Part B late enrollment penalty, your penalty cannot be waived as part of the hold harmless rule. In fact, your late enrollment penalty will increase according to how much the Part B premium will go up each year.
If you’re concerned about the rising cost of Medicare, you can consider a few options that may be able to help you save on your out-of-pocket Medicare costs:
If you have questions about you Part B premium or would like to learn more about how a Medicare Advantage plan can help you save on your health care costs, call to speak with a licensed insurance agent today.
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Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with MedicareAdvantage.com. He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.
Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.
Christian has written hundreds of articles for MedicareAvantage.com that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.
Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.
A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at Mike@tzhealthmedia.com.