Medicare Changes for 2022

Medicare Changes for 2022

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In 2022, Original Medicare costs will increase across the board, but average Medicare Advantage premiums will be lower. Other changes include more plans that cap insulin costs, improved access to mental health care and Medicare Advantage for ESRD patients for coverage starting in 2022.

Whether you're newly eligible for Medicare or making changes during the annual Medicare open enrollment period, there are several things to keep in mind for 2022. For example, people on insulin might want to switch plans during open enrollment to one that caps insulin costs.

Higher Medicare Part A costs

All Medicare Part A costs are increasing for 2022, including the deductible, coinsurance and premiums.

Most people get Medicare Part A for free and are enrolled automatically when they turn 65. But if you have to pay for Part A, your premiums typically increase yearly.

Medicare Part A costs are increasing by an overall average of 5% for 2022.

Part A cost
2021 amount
2022 amount
% increase
Premium: Paid Medicare taxes less than 30 quarters$471$4996%
Premium: Paid Medicare taxes for 30-39 quarters$259$2746%
Hospital deductible$1,484$1,5565%
Hospital coinsurance days 61-90$371$3895%
Hospital coinsurance days 91+$742$7785%
Skilled nursing facility coinsurance days 21-100$185.50$194.505%

Part A premiums only apply if you paid Medicare taxes for less than 40 quarters.

Part A deductible

You must pay a Part A inpatient deductible for each hospital admission. That amount will go from $1,484 to $1,556, an increase of $72 over 2021.

Part A premiums

If you worked and paid Medicare taxes for less than 7.5 years, you'll pay $499 per month for Part A in 2022, up from $471 a month in 2021. If you paid Medicare taxes for 7.5 years but less than 10 years (30 to 39 quarters), you’ll pay $274 a month for Part A in 2022, an increase from $259 in 2021. Part A continues to be free if you paid Medicare taxes for 10 years or more.

Part A coinsurance

After you pay the inpatient deductible, you'll pay a set amount — known as coinsurance — for each day you remain in the hospital over 60 days. The 2022 deductible and coinsurance amounts all increased by 5% from 2021:

  • Hospitalization days 1 to 60: You pay the $1,556 deductible if you haven't already met it, but won't pay any coinsurance for the first 60 days in the hospital.
  • Hospitalization days 61 to 90: You pay $389 per day for each benefit period, up from $371 in 2021.
  • Hospitalization days 91 and up: You pay $778 for each "lifetime reserve day" for each benefit period, up from $742 in 2021. Medicare enrollees get a maximum of 60 lifetime reserve days.

Skilled nursing facility coinsurance

For days 21 through 100 at a skilled facility, you'll pay $194.50 per day in 2022, up from $185.50 in 2021.

As in prior years, you'll pay no coinsurance for your first 20 days at a skilled nursing facility.

Higher Medicare Part B costs

Medicare enrollees will experience the largest Part B increase ever in 2022.

The cost of Medicare Part B will go from $148.50 per month in 2021 to $170.10 per month in 2022, an increase of $21.60 per month.

The Medicare Part B deductible is also rising in 2022. The annual Part B deductible will go from $203 in 2021 to $233 in 2022, an increase of $30.

Part B cost
2021 amount
2022 amount
% increase
Premiums$148.50$170.1014.5%
Annual deductible$203$23315%

Medicare Advantage changes for 2022

The average cost for Medicare Advantage will decrease from $21.22 per month in 2021 to $19 per month in 2022.

There are 3,834 Medicare Advantage plans available in 2022, up 8% nationally from 2021. Texas and Florida added the most plans, while Arkansas will offer fewer plans in 2022 than in 2021. Of the 2022 plans, 59% are HMOs and 37% are PPO plans.

According to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), while the average monthly cost for Medicare Advantage will decrease from 2021 to 2022, enrollment is expected to increase.

Medicare Advantage for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients

People with kidney failure, or ESRD, became eligible to enroll in Medicare Advantage for coverage starting in 2022. Prior to this change, people with ESRD were not able to enroll in most Medicare Advantage plans unless there was an ESRD special needs plan in their area.

ESRD patients were especially at a disadvantage in states that limit Medigap plans to people age 65 or older. In those states, ESRD patients had Original Medicare as the only choice, with no extra benefits. Patients can now opt for Medicare Advantage plans with added coverage.

Medicare Part D changes for 2022

Average Medicare Part D prices will increase from $31.47 per month in 2021 to $33 per month in 2022.

Your other out-of-pocket Part D costs will also increase for 2022. The maximum Part D deductible will increase from $445 in 2021 to $480 in 2022. The threshold for entering the catastrophic coverage phase — when you get through the donut hole phase and your prescription copays or coinsurance amounts decrease — will go up from $6,550 in 2021 to $7,050 in 2022.

Part D cost
2021 amount
2022 amount
% increase
Average monthly rate$31.47$335%
Maximum annual deductible$445$4808%
Catastrophic phase threshold$6,550$7,0508%

Plans that cap insulin prices

The Medicare Part D Senior Savings Model caps the cost of some insulins at $35 per month.

In 2022, Medicare enrollees in every state can sign up for a special Part D plan that caps the cost of some insulins at $35 a month. The Part D Senior Savings Model program began in 2021, with the number of plans expanding to 2,159 in 2022.

People enrolled in Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage can sign up for this program, but if you already benefit from the Medicare Extra Help program, you won't qualify for the Senior Savings Model.

The model extends until Dec. 31, 2025, but plans that participate may change each year. To download a list of participating plans, visit the CMS Model website.

Mental health coverage improvements

For 2022, CMS made it easier for patients to get mental health care through virtual health services, or telehealth. But some of the added coverage is temporary and will stop once the COVID-19 public health emergency has officially ended.

Meanwhile, CMS permanently expanded telehealth coverage in 2022 to diagnose, evaluate or treat certain mental health disorders for Medicare patients at home.

Extra time to sign up for Medicare in 2022

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is updating its phone system in 2022, which has made it hard for callers to connect with a representative to enroll in Medicare. If you have tried to call the SSA to sign up for Medicare starting on Jan. 1, 2022, but couldn’t get a representative on the phone — or the system disconnected during your call — you have until Dec. 30, 2022, to enroll.

The extension applies if you're trying to sign up during your initial enrollment period (IEP), the general enrollment period (GEP) or a special enrollment period (SEP).

You can find out more at Medicare.gov or by calling 800-772-1213.

Frequently asked questions

What are the Medicare coverage changes for 2022?

Changes to Medicare benefits for 2022 include an increase in the number of plans with caps on insulin costs and making Medicare Advantage plans available to ESRD patients. More people will have access to mental health care through telehealth services in 2022.

How much will Medicare premiums increase in 2022?

Medicare premiums for Part B will increase to $170.10 in 2022, an increase of $21.60 or 14.5%. If you must pay for Medicare Part A, your premiums will jump by 6%.

What is the Medicare deductible for 2022?

The Medicare Part A deductible for 2022 is $1,556. This is an increase of $72 over the 2021 deductible of $1,484. For Part B, the 2022 deductible is $233.

Methodology and sources

All Medicare cost, coverage and benefit information was obtained from Medicare.gov and CMS.gov.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.