Average Medicare premiums for prescription drugs will fall in 2023

Premiums for Medicare prescription drug coverage are expected to decline slightly on average in 2023.

The average monthly premium for a Medicare Part D plan, which covers prescriptions, will drop to $31.50 next year, down 58 cents from 2022, according to CNBC.

At the same time, the maximum deductible for drug coverage under Medicare will increase to $505 for 2023, from $480 this year.

Deductibles and premiums vary widely between health insurance plans, CNBC noted. It is possible that some beneficiaries will see their premiums fall more than the average or even increase.

Others may have no deductible at all or a lower deductible than allowed.

And of course, premiums for prescription coverage are only one component of Medicare costs. Part B coverage, which pays for doctor visits, lab work, screenings and other outpatient services, saw an increase of nearly 15% in 2022, the largest on record.

Part B premiums may decline next year, according to Yahoo Finance. That’s because last year’s surge was largely due to an expensive new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease that won regulatory approval.

The use of this treatment, known as Aduhelm, was later restricted to Medicare patients in clinical trials. Biogen, the company that developed the treatment, eventually scaled back its U.S. sales efforts, further limiting its reach, according to The Motley Fool.

Biogen also reduced the cost of Aduhelm.

As a result, the money built into Medicare premiums to help pay for treatment is no longer needed. The savings are expected to be applied to Part B costs in 2023, according to CNBC.

Exactly what this means for exact bonus amounts will not be known until the government announces them later in the year.

Medicare’s open enrollment period — when you can sign up for coverage — opens Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7, CNBC said.

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