As you probably know by now, nothing about Medicare is set in stone. You first enroll at age 65, in most cases, but each year your plan network, coverage, or premiums can change. That’s exactly why we urge you to review your plan each year and compare to others available to you, in order to prevent any surprises. But for the 2023 coverage year, we have a happy surprise in store: Medicare premiums will decrease just slightly!

Medicare Part A (hospitalization insurance) is free to almost everyone (assuming you earned enough credits over your working years). But Medicare Part B does charge a premium, and these premiums can change from one year to the next. In many years recently, we have seen slight increases in premium amounts, much to the frustration of retirees on a fixed income. But for 2023, the standard Medicare Part B premium will decrease by about five dollars, to $164.90.

We should mention that this change affects about 93 percent of Medicare beneficiaries, but not all of you. About seven percent fall into higher income tax brackes, above $97,000 (individuals) or $194,000 (married couples) annually. Those beneficiaries are subject to different Part B premiums, based on their incomes. If you fall into that group, you should consult your Medicare professional for precise information on your own premiums for next year.

As for other costs associated with Medicare, Part A coinsurance will change next year. While premiums are usually free to most people, you are responsible for a coinsurance charge for hospital stays. For 2023, the total coinsurance charge for hospital stays under 60 days will be $1600. After 60 days, the daily coinsurance charge will rise to $400 per day, between days 61 and 90, and $800 per day thereafter.

If you need help understanding how these changes could affect you, give us a call. Remember, we’re always available to answer your questions about Medicare for free. And while the Annual Election Period is going on, from now until December 7, we can guide you through changing your Medicare plan(s) if you decide you need to do so.