Medicare costs to decline for first time in a decade

Medicare Part B on a desk.

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Medicare Part B premiums would decline 3% in 2023, lowering costs for tens of millions of Americans covered by the federal health program for the first time in a decade.

Accordingly, the premiums for the Medicare Part B program, which, among other things, covers doctor and hospital visits as well as drugs administered in hospitals, will decline by $5.20 to $164.90 from $170.10, and the plan’s annual deductible will also fall $7.00 to $226 from $233.

CMS attributed much of the decline to its decision to limit coverage for Aduhelm, the Alzheimer’s medication developed by Biogen (BIIB) and Eisai (OTCPK:ESALF) (OTCPK:ESALY).

The agency raised 2022 Part B premiums by 14.5% amid uncertainty over how its coverage will drive the increase.

Despite FDA approval in 2021, CMS restricted coverage for Aduhelm and similar Amyloid targeting drugs last year only for their use in clinical trials.

Selected managed care players: UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), Humana (HUM), Elevance Health (ELV), Centene (CNC), CVS Health (CVS).

Read: Biogen (BIIB) and Eisai (OTCPK:ESALF) have just announced that their latest anti-amyloid Alzheimer’s lecanemab has met the main goal in a large late-stage trial.

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