The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has revealed what the new Part B premium will be for 2022. The standard rate of $148.50 in 2021 is increased to $170.10 for 2022. But that’s not all. Along with that increase comes deductible increases as well. You can read the press release by clicking here.
So, what does this mean to you? It means that you should review your Medicare supplement plan premiums and shop for a cost-effective Prescription Drug Plan. As many Washingtonians have discovered, there are some counties that simply do not offer affordable Medicare Advantage plans therefore it is imperative that you review the Medicare supplement plans and prescription drug plans and what they have to offer.
For those of you who have multiple options available in your county, including Medicare Advantage plans, analyze the maximum out of pocket on these “all in one plans” and compare that to the premiums you are paying on your supplement. If the Medicare Advantage plan has a maximum out of pocket limit that is higher than your annual premium on your Medicare supplement, you weigh what you like about Medicare versus the extra benefits you can use on a Medicare Advantage plan. Also, consider the Part B deductible in your analysis if you have a Plan G and other plans with high deductibles. A good agent would ask you those questions that assist in identifying a medical plan and prescription plan that works for you, and just you.
Everyone has different needs and wants in a Medicare plan.
The annual enrollment period is ending on December 7th, 2021 for an effective date of January 1, 2022. By now, you should have an idea of what you may want to do, however the “shiny objects” on Medicare Advantage plans may not be worth a change and it all depends upon what you need and your current situation.
Prescription drug plans can lure someone in with a low premium but when you go to use it, you may find that you will pay more than you expected. Agents will know which drug plan offers the better tiered structures for prescriptions and which mail order services offer a low-cost option. Deductibles have gone up in 2022 therefore it is imperative that you understand your prescription drug plan. Again, it is based upon your unique situation – what works for one person will not work for another.
Expanded Medicaid with Medicare also offers you another option for Medicare Advantage which has enhanced benefits over the average Medicare Advantage plan for those without Medicaid. One unseen benefit is the drug formulary and available tiered prescriptions. Another is food cards that have become more popular. Over the counter benefits are usually more generous on these plans as well.