By: Barry Klitsberg, Nassau County Medicare Counselor, FCA
For those of us who are enrolled in the Medicare program, there is good news on the horizon. Medicare has made significant changes to its premiums and deductibles, lowering the cost to the beneficiary.
While the cost of just about everything has gone up, the monthly Medicare Part B premium has been reduced for the first time this century, from $170.10 to $164.90, for a yearly saving of $62.40. What’s more, the Medicare Part B deductible has gone down from $233 per year to $226. These two reductions have broken a string of yearly increases.
Medicare Part B generally covers medically necessary services, that is, services or supplies that are needed to diagnose or treat your medical condition and that meet accepted standards of medical practice. Part B also covers a wide range of preventive services from shots to screenings to prevent illness (like the flu) or detect it at an early stage, when treatment is most likely to work best.
In addition, due to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, Medicare will finally be able to negotiate prescription drug costs directly with pharmaceutical manufacturers. While this section of the law doesn’t go into effect until 2025, in the interim, beneficiaries who are insulin dependent can have their insulin costs capped at $35.00 per month. This can save hundreds of dollars a month. Also, the Inflation Reduction Act calls for out of pocket prescription expenses to be capped at $2,000 annually.
In order to determine which type of plan works best for you, you should call the Nassau County Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program, HIICAP hotline. This is a free service that will guide you to the best plan for you. We have no affiliation with insurance companies, agents or brokers. Our number is 516-485-3754. While we are quite busy during Medicare Open Enrollment Season, we strive to return every call on our voice mail within two working days, and usually call sooner.
FCA can help. Answers to your Medicare questions are just a phone call away.
Barry Klitsberg is an Assistant Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance (HIICAP) Coordinator at FCA in Garden City and an Aging Services Program Specialist at US Department of Health and Human Services.