As you no doubt know by now, the $21.60 increase in the Medicare Part B premium is the largest annual dollar-amount rate hike ever for Part B coverage, while the 14.5% increase is the third-largest percentage increase since 2007.
Why is that happening?
According to a report by Bloomberg News, half of that increase is because of “… the need to build contingency reserves if Medicare decides to cover the costly Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm, manufactured by Biogen Inc. The CMS [Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services] is making a determination on whether and how it will cover Aduhelm and other drugs to treat Alzheimer’s. If Medicare decides not to cover the controversial new drug, the rate hike can be lowered, officials said.”
So, this is a double-edged sword for seniors. Medicare coverage of this new drug could be life-altering for many seniors in the future if they develop Alzheimer’s. But right now, the large increase in the premium hurts a great deal.