CLEVELAND, Ohio – Now that your Medicare enrollment period has begun, there are two important things to remember. First, don’t take the advice of dull actors from fame or athletes who tout Medicare hype on TV.
Second, don’t assume that last year’s plan will be right for you in 2023. Among the changes coming to Medicare next year are a price cap on expensive insulin and vaccines that will be available for free and costs for reduced premiums.
“At this time of year, cell phones (for the elderly) Light up their texts light up. Their mailbox is full of paper and every TV station advertises Medicare Advantage plans. Just try to stop the noise, said Christina Rigg, director of the Health Insurance Information Program for Seniors in Ohio. The agency is funded by Medicare to provide objective and unbiased information about the federal insurance plan to people 65 and older.
“It is very important, during this open enrollment period, that individuals review what they have and then look closely at what is being offered next year,” Rigg said.
Find out the latest information about Medicare coverage, And get answers to your questions during The Plain Dealer and cleveland.com Medicare and Retirement Golden Guide provided by Medical Mutual. The free virtual event is Thursday, October 27, 4:30–6 p.m. Participants must pre-register on the webpage To receive a Zoom link to join the event.
This workshop presents groups led by Medicare experts who will explain plan options, how to choose the right plan for you, and insights into drug plan options. There will also be a moderated question and answer session.
One source of advice to be wary of is TV ads that appear to be government sponsored, or featuring celebrities. Oftentimes, the helplines mentioned in commercials divert calls to large out-of-state brokers trying to sell Medicare Advantage plans. Calling these helplines gives your phone number to scammers and can unleash a barrage of unwanted calls.
The open enrollment period — during which people already in Medicare can change their plans — began on October 15. It runs through Wednesday, December 7.
If you want to stay on your current Medicare plan, do nothing during the enrollment period, Reeg said, and it will automatically roll over.
Seniors who turn 65 and want to enroll in Medicare have an initial enrollment window of seven months — three months before their birth month, their birth month and three months after their birth month.
Medical changes coming in 2023 are due to Congress’ approval of the Inflation Cut Act of 2022, which included measures to cut health care costs.
Here are details of some of the major Medicare changes affecting most enrollees in 2023. The information comes from the Ohio Seniors Health Insurance Information Program, the Western Reserve Agency on Aging, AARP, and media reports.
More free vaccines in 2023
More vaccines will be made available free to Medicare recipients next year.
In the past, Medicare Part B covered some vaccines — including those against influenza, pneumonia, hepatitis B, primary COVID-19, and booster vaccines — with no out-of-pocket costs for associates. Other vaccines were covered under Medicare Part D, the drug’s benefit, but at a high participation cost.
Changing to zero participation of vaccines mostly affects two-shot shingles vaccine, Which currently costs Medicare Part D recipients less than $50 per dose.
Insulin cap will be set at $35
Starting next year, Americans with Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage will pay no more than $35 for a 30-day supply of insulin, even if they don’t meet the annual Part D deduction.
Currently, insulin injections cost between $10 and $1,300 per month under Part D.
Reeg said Medicare’s online Plan Finder tool does not reflect the $35 cap, because the law was passed too late to update the site. Insulin users should contact the Ohio Senior Citizen Health Insurance Information Program or Medicare directly for more details.
Beginning July 1, Medicare enrollees who use Part B insulin pumps will no longer have to pay any deductible. Until this date, they will still pay a 20% co-insurance after the discount is met.
Medicare Part A costs go up
Most Medicare enrollees do not pay a monthly Medicare Part A fee, who provides hospital insurance, But they do incur a deductible fee for the hospital stay. In 2023, the hospital deductible will increase by $44 to $1,600.
Medicare Part B premium will decrease
The standard monthly Medicare Part B premium will be reduced to $164.90 in 2023, down from $170.10 in 2022. The lower premium comes after a significant premium increase – Amount paid for the insurance policy – In 2022. It was the largest increase in the program’s history.
“This is the first time in the history of Medicare “That premium has gone down,” Reg said. “However, over $164 a month is a lot of money for many Medicare beneficiaries.”
Next year’s Part B premium will be lower because Medicare will not be spent as much as originally expected on Aduhelm, the controversial Alzheimer’s drug. But next year’s premiums are still higher than they were years ago.
Medicare Part B provides medical insurance for doctor visits, outpatient services, medical equipment, transportation, and more.
The Part B premium increases each year on a cost-of-living basis, said Tommy York, director of commercial operations for the Western Reserve Area on Aging agency, which advocates for seniors.
“This is the first year since 2012 that it’s actually going to roll back,” York said. It is automatically paid out of your Social Security check.
Medicare deductible portion will be reduced
Part B Annual Discount for 2023 It decreases slightly by $7 to $226.
health insurance discount The out-of-pocket amount paid each year for eligible health care services before an insurance plan begins to cover costs. The amount of the deductible varies depending on the health insurance plan.
Changes will not affect Medicare Advantage plans
These changes will not affect seniors in a Medicare Advantage plan, which is Medicare coverage from a private company. These people will need to know the exact personal costs of their own plan in 2023.
Some Medicare benefits plans align their out-of-pocket costs with Medicare Part B “but you have over 100 (Medicare Advantage) plans in the Cleveland area. Each of them has a different cost structure,” Reg said.
Medicare Advantage differs from the original Medicare program, which includes Medicare Part A and Part B, and pays enrollees a discount at the beginning of the year, plus 20% of the cost of the Medicare-approved service, called coinsurance.
Avoid scams and protect personal information
During the open enrollment season, many seniors are misled by marketing gimmicks, or fall victim to scams that put personal information in the wrong hands. Here are some tips to protect yourself or a loved one:
- Don’t answer calls, texts, or emails from numbers or email addresses you don’t know. Legitimate government agencies will not initiate contact by calling, texting, or emailing you.
- Do not give your personal information, including your Medicare number, Social Security number, or bank account information, to anyone who initiates contact with you.
Here are websites that can help with Medicare questions: