4 Changes to Expect During 2023 Medicare Open Enrollment
In the past, people had to wait until they turned 65 to enrol in Medicare. But in recent years, that has changed. The period known as “open enrollment” now begins when you turn 65 and ends on December 7 each year. If you haven’t yet enrolled, you must do so by this date every year to avoid paying an additional premium fee when you file your taxes the following April. If you are eligible for Medicare anytime soon, now is the time to start planning. With these changes coming to the program in 2023, it’s essential to be informed so you can make the best possible decision regarding your eligibility and enrollment options. Discover what’s new with the 2023 Medicare open enrollment below, and get started today!
Monthly Premiums Will Increase.
One of the most significant changes you’ll see in the coming years is a rise in monthly premiums. This is because, on April 1, 2022, a Social Security Administration payroll tax hike will go into effect. This tax increase will fund the program’s shortfall over the next decade. This means that you and all other Medicare enrollees will be footing the bill for the program. What does this mean for you? Higher monthly premiums. The average increase is expected to be around $40 a month, but it will vary from person to person depending on the current premium level that person pays.
Part D Coverage Ends For Some Drugs.
As mentioned above, Medicare will now be footing the bill for prescription drugs. Unfortunately, Medicare does have limitations as to which medications it will cover. One of these limitations involves brand-name drugs whose patent has expired. At that point, other companies can produce “generic” versions of the drug. As soon as a drug goes generic, Medicare coverage of the original brand-name drug ends. For example, when the patent for the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor expired in 2011, the drug’s manufacturer (and many other pharmaceutical companies) began producing their generic versions of the drug. As a result, the federal government stopped providing coverage for Lipitor and required Medicare enrollees to switch to the generic drug version. This illustrates how some drugs’ coverage on Medicare may end.
Prescription Drug Co-Payments May Rise.
While Medicare prescription drug coverage is excellent in that it will begin paying for certain drugs you may need, it does have one potential downside: co-payments. While many people have their prescriptions fully covered by Medicare, others may have to pay a co-payment each time they fill a prescription. Currently, the average co-payment is $19 per prescription. But as the years go by, there’s a chance that this co-payment may increase. The federal government currently caps the amount it will pay for prescription drugs. Medicare will cover the remaining amount if you’re prescribed a more expensive drug than the current co-payment amount. But as time goes on, the amount the government will cover will increase. If the co-payment amount stays the same, this means that you’ll end up having to pay the difference. It’s essential to keep this in mind when choosing which prescription drugs to fill.
Nursing Home Care May Be Cut From Medicare.
The Medicare program is known for providing coverage for hospital visits, doctor visits, and more. But many people don’t realize that it also provides coverage for nursing home care. Currently, Medicare covers nursing home care for a certain amount of time after a person has been hospitalized. But there is a chance that this coverage may be cut in the future. If your doctor recommends that you go to a nursing home due to a mental or physical disability, Medicare will cover the costs of this care until you’ve been in the nursing home for 100 continuous days. Then, Medicare may stop paying for nursing home care unless you are quickly discharged. For example, a person hospitalized may be unable to care for themselves after returning home. If admitted to a nursing home, Medicare will cover the costs of this care until they have been in the home for 100 days. But after that point, Medicare may stop paying for the nursing home stay. This means the individual may be forced to pay for nursing home care. Medicare coverage for nursing home stays may be cut in the coming years as the program is under increasing financial strain. Currently, the program is expected to go bankrupt in the coming years. The only way to avoid this is for the government to increase taxes on Medicare enrollees.
The changes to the Medicare program in 2023 will significantly impact older Americans’ lives. From rising monthly premiums to a potential drop in nursing home coverage, it’s essential to start planning for these changes now. Be sure to visit your local health insurance marketplace and explore your options to see which is best suited for you.