Medicare recipients to see premium cut — but not until 2023
HHS Xavier Becerra said the 2022 premium should be adjusted downward, but legal and operational hurdles prevented officials from doing that in the middle of the year.
Medicare recipients will get a premium reduction — but not until next year.
That reflects what Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra says was an overestimate in costs of covering a controversial new Alzheimer’s drug.
Becerra’s statement Friday says the 2022 premium should be adjusted downward, but legal and operational hurdles prevent officials from doing that in the middle of the year. He did not say what the adjustment would be.
Medicare Part B premiums jumped by $22 a month, to $170.10, for 2022, in part because of the cost of the drug Aduhelm, which was approved despite weak evidence that it could slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has limited coverage of Aduhelm to use in clinical trials approved by the Food and Drug Administration or the National Institutes of Health. It began reassessing the premium increase under pressure by Congress and consumers.
The drug’s manufacturer, Biogen, has cut the cost of the drug in half, to about $28,000 a year.