Medicare's Open Enrollment Period runs from October 15 through December 7, and it’s your annual chance to switch your current Medicare health and prescription drug plans to ones that better align with your needs. Just recently, the new Medicare premiums, deductibles, and other costs were announced for 2023. Surprisingly, considering many price trends these days, some of these costs have actually been lowered. But this lower price doesn’t help much for those with higher incomes, so considering your specific health coverage needs will be more important than ever.
Open Enrollment: Your Options
Start by reviewing any materials your plan has already sent to you. You’ll see that the coverage offered, costs, and network of providers may have changed from 2022. Now is also the time to consider your own your health. Has it changed? Do you anticipate needing medical care, or perhaps new or pricier prescription drugs?
If your current plan doesn't meet your health-care needs or fit your budget, you can make changes—but you don’t need to. If you're satisfied with what you currently have, you don't need to do anything at all, and your existing coverage will continue as is.
However, during Open Enrollment, you will have the option to:
• Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan
• Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare
• Change from one Medicare Advantage Plan to a different Medicare Advantage Plan
• Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers prescription drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn't offer prescription drug coverage
• Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn't offer prescription drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that does offer prescription drug coverage
• Join a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D)
• Switch from one Part D plan to another Part D plan
• Drop your Part D coverage altogether
Any changes made during Open Enrollment will be effective as of January 1, 2023.
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)
Most people with Medicare who receive Social Security benefits will pay the standard monthly Part B premium of $164.90 in 2023. Yes, that’s $5.20 lower than it was in 2022 but, unfortunately, it’s “not for everybody.”
Those with higher incomes may pay more—up to about three times more, in fact—than the standard premium. If your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) as reported on your federal income tax return from 2021 is above a certain amount, you'll pay the standard premium amount plus an Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). This is an extra charge added to your premium, with totals shown in the following table.
People with higher incomes may also pay a higher premium for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, because an IRMAA will be added to the Part D basic premium based on the same income limits in the table above. Part D premiums vary, but the average basic monthly premium for 2023 is projected to be $31.50 (down from $32.08 in 2022).
People with Medicare Part B must also satisfy an annual deductible before Original Medicare starts to pay. For 2023, this deductible is $226 (down from $233 in 2022).
Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)
Here are the new numbers for Medicare Part A for 2023:
- Part A deductible for inpatient hospitalization: $1,600 per benefit period (up from $1,556 in 2022)
- Part A premium for those who need to buy coverage: up to $506 per month (up from $499 in 2022). Note: most people don't pay a premium for Medicare Part A.
- Part A coinsurance: $400 per day for days 61 through 90, and $800 per "lifetime reserve day" after day 90, up to a 60-day lifetime maximum (up from $389 and $778 in 2022)
- Part A skilled nursing facility coinsurance: $200 for days 21 through 100 for each benefit period (up from $194.50 in 2022)
Now is the time to review your existing Medicare coverage, consider your healthcare needs, and decide if it makes sense to make changes to your plan. The Open Enrollment period runs from October 15 to December 7, and any changes you make would take effect on January 1st — not that far away!
One more thing: the U.S. Government’s official websites for Medicare are at medicare.gov and CMS.gov (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services). Any other sites, even if they have “medicare” in their address, are likely run by private companies instead.
Source: “MedicareOpen Enrollment Is Here: How Are Costs Changing for 2023?,” Broadridge AdvisorSolutions, October 11, 2022
Disclosure: This information is for educational and informative purposes and shall not be considered a specific recommendation. Readers are advised to speak with their advisor at JL Bainbridge to determine their specific recommendations that meet their investment objectives and to review their portfolios. The material being provided is thought to be accurate. However, the information is compiled from multiple resources and may become outdated or otherwise rendered incorrect by new research or corrections without notice. J.L. Bainbridge & Co., Inc., is not a broker dealer and does not offer tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax or legal advisor for assistance regarding your individual situation. It should neither be assumed that future results will be as profitable or that a loss could not be incurred. For more information related to our firm, please see our disclosure brochures at jlbainbridge.com and https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/firm/summary/108058.
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