However, this could be changing. According to this article, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) may reexamine the previous premium recommendation because the Alzheimer’s drug, Adehulm, has decreased in price. Therefore, Medicare’s cost estimate is based on now-dated information.
Price of Controversial New Alzheimer’s Drug Drops by Half
Aduhelm is an FDA-approved treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Manufactured by Biogen, the drug was approved by the FDA in June 2021, despite some objections in the scientific community about its effectiveness and side effects, which may include brain swelling and bleeding.
Medicare officials haven’t decided if they will cover Aduhelm or limit it to certain patients. A decision should come in the spring. Because a decision hasn’t been made, and there are some serious concerns over the drug’s safety, Medicare must have money in reserves for various possibilities.
However, on January 1st, the price for Aduhelm dropped 50 percent. The per-patient price tag was $56,000 annually, and has now dropped to $28,000 annually. With this price change, Part B premiums are based on now-dated information. A CMS spokesperson said they are reviewing this new information.
AARP and Others Urge Feds to Lower Part B Premiums
Since news of Aduhelm’s price decrease, there has been a call for action to lower Medicare Part B premiums. AARP urges feds to lower 2022 Part B premiums, stating that these prices are “unsupportable.” Also, AARP points out that $170.10 is a significant financial burden at a time when the typical Medicare beneficiary has an income of less than $30,000.
Other articles, such as this one from Modern Healthcare, also support lowering Part B premiums, stating that there is less justification for the planned increase now that Aduhelm has dropped by half.
Should You Expect Your Part P Premiums to Decrease?
While there is a plausible reason to lower Medicare premiums, it’s uncertain as to whether this will actually happen, especially given that the proposal for Aduhelm won’t be finalized until later this year.
At this time, it’s best to budget for $170.10 a month for Medicare Part B premiums. And, if for some reason a decision is made to lower premiums, Leonard Financial Solutions will make sure you know about it! We are keeping on top of this news for our clients, so be sure to check here first!