In 2024, Medicare Part B premiums will be lowered for the first time in over a decade, pursuant to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The 2024 monthly premium is set to be $164.90, a decrease of $5.20 from the 2022 cost of $167.10 per month.
The drop, announced earlier this year by Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, comes after a significant increase in 2022 prices. In 2022, the Medicare Part B premium increased by 14.5%, from $148.50 to $170.10 per month for the lowest income bracket.
President Joe Biden used Tuesday’s Rose Garden event to highlight the savings and the Democrat Party’s stance as the party that will protect programs like Medicare and Social Security.
This move is timed to reach the pivotal group of senior citizens six weeks before the midterm elections. Biden has been critical of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and the Republicans’ proposal unveiled last week, calling it a vague collection of policy beliefs.
The President has also criticized Florida Senator Rick Scott and Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, both Republicans, for their proposal to make Social Security and Medicare optional. Imagine the House Budget Committee starts explaining why we can’t afford Medicare and Social Security; what do you think the public would do then? Vice President Biden asked the garden audience.
The primary driver of the projected increase in 2022 is the high cost of a new medication for Alzheimer’s disease called Aduhelm. While the manufacturer of Aduhelm has lowered the price, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has curtailed its coverage. The government has promised to factor in the lower-than-expected expenditures to the 2024 tax.
Part B trust fund reserves are far higher than projected, allowing the government to limit premium increases in the future. This is due to lower-than-anticipated spending on other Part B products and services. Medicare Part B enrollees will have a $226 annual deductible in 2024, down $7 from the previous year.
Some medical treatment not covered by Part A is covered by Medicare Part B. This includes visits to doctors and other healthcare professionals, outpatient hospital care, home health care, and durable medical equipment.
This coming January, Medicare recipients will be able to take advantage of a provision of the Inflation Reduction Act, which Congress passed in August. The cost of a month’s worth of covered insulin will be capped at $35 beginning on July 1. Additionally, there is no deductible for insulin pumps for Medicare recipients, and patients whose pumps were paid for by Medicare’s Part B durable medical equipment benefit will get this payment.
Medicare Part B premium deductions come as retirees prepare for a larger-than-usual increase in their Social Security payments. The annual cost of living adjustment, announced next month, is driven by high inflation.
Although retirees received their largest pay increase in decades (5.9% in 2022), rapidly rising costs quickly offset the benefit. The Senior Citizens League predicts that by 2024, the average retirement payment will increase by 8.7 percent, or $144.10 to $1,656.