Nearly 1.3M in Mass. to face higher Medicare costs

Boston Statehouse

FILE – In this Nov. 8, 2018 file photo, the U.S. Medicare Handbook is photographed in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

BOSTON (SHNS) – Nearly 1.3 million people in Massachusetts will be paying higher premiums, deductibles and coinsurance amounts for Medicare in 2022.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Friday that the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees will be $170.10 next year, an increase of $21.60 or 14.54 percent from $148.50 in 2021. The annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries will be $233 in 2022, an increase of $30 from the 2021 annual deductible.

The higher costs for Part B, which covers outpatient care and durable equipment, are due to rising health care costs and utilization, the possibility that Medicare could have to begin covering a high-cost Alzheimer’s drug and congressional action that held down the 2021 premium, CMS said.

Health care spending is on the front burner for Beacon Hill this week as the House and Senate each gear up to consider its leader’s priority health-related legislation and as the governor and attorney general prepare to address health cost growth at the Health Policy Commission’s annual conference on Wednesday. Health care spending in Massachusetts exceeded an annual target set under a 2012 cost control law the second straight year in 2019, climbing 4.3 percent.

For Medicare Part A, which covers inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility, hospice, and inpatient rehabilitation care, the 2022 deductible will be $1,556 per benefit period, up $72 or 4.85 percent from the current year’s $1,484 deductible. In Massachusetts, there were 1,375,687 total Medicare beneficiaries as of September, including 1,245,877 people enrolled in either Part B or Part A, according to CMS data.

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