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84% of people currently enrolled in a 2021 stand-alone Medicare Part D drug plan may see premium increases in 2022

Category: Annual Medicare Plan Changes
Published on 2021-09-30 12:39:23

Based on increases in 2022 Medicare Part D plan premiums and the current 2021 Medicare Part D plan enrollment (September 2021), we estimate that around 84% of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan* can expect to see an increase of about $6.26 in their monthly 2022 Medicare Part D plan premiums - unless they change their Medicare plan coverage to a more affordable 2022 Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan.

Increases in average 2022 Medicare Part D premiums

A preliminary analysis of the 2022 stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs) found that the national average 2022 Part D premium (not considering plan enrollment) will increase 15% from $41.38 in 2021 to $47.55 in 2022, overshadowing the CMS projection of a 4.9% increase in the average monthly Medicare Part D plan premium over the 2021 average premium.

(The large variation between our 15% premium increase and the CMS 4.9% premium increase may be explained by the presence of low-premium or $0 premium Medicare Advantage (MAPDs) that CMS combined along with stand-alone Medicare Part D plans - whereas we only consider stand-alone Medicare Part D plan information.)

Also, the national average monthly 2022 Medicare Part D premium, weighted by the number of people currently enrolled in each plan will increase to $43.19 - also a 15% increase over the 2021 weighted monthly premium of $37.54.

The national weighted-average monthly premium increase means that, if everyone stays in their current 2021 stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan through 2022, most beneficiaries will see an increase in their monthly premium.

Please note, the average monthly premium in each state or Medicare region will vary from the national average and can be seen in PDP-Facts.com by clicking on your state.

Bottom-line:  The majority of current 2021 Part D plan members can expect premium increases in 2022.

Question:  How about a few examples of 2022 premium increases?

As a state-level example, 93% of the Medicare beneficiaries* in New Mexico who are currently enrolled in a 2021 stand-alone Medicare Part D plan can expect an increase in their 2022 monthly Medicare Part D premiums.  The average monthly premium increase is $6.18.

As another example, 87% of the people currently enrolled* in a 2021 Florida stand-alone Medicare Part D plan can expect an average increase in their 2022 monthly Medicare Part D premiums of around $6.62.

For a chart of how each 2021 Part D plan's features are changing in 2022, please see PDP-Compare.com.

* Not considering Low-Income Subsidy eligibility.

Question:  Why are the Q1Medicare.com average Medicare Part D premiums higher than premiums projected by Medicare?

As noted above, the difference between our projected premium calculations and CMS' is that we are only considering stand-alone Medicare Part D plans (PDPs) and do not include the premiums for the Medicare Advantage plans (MAPDs).  Many MAPDs have a low or $0 monthly premium and we find these low premiums skew average Medicare Part D drug plan premium figures toward lower values.

Average PDP premium vs. Average weighted* PDP premium vs. CMS' PDP/MAPD average premium

The following chart shows how the average and weighted-average stand-alone Medicare Part D premiums have changed since 2007 - and compares these premium values to the CMS estimated base Medicare Part D premium.

Estimated vs Average vs Average Weighted Medicare Part D premiums

* The projected average premiums weighted by plan enrollment are using the current plan year's September enrollment data (which is the most current enrollment data at the time of publication). These projected averages are "updated" next year in this chart using the actual year's enrollment.

For example, we calculate a projected 2020 enrollment-weighted average premium using September 2019 enrollment data (and projected a $41.40 weighted PDP premium) and then in September 2020, we update our 2020 projection using the actual September 2020 plan enrollment data (and now the chart shows a $37.72 actual enrollment-weighted PDP premium for 2020 as people moved to lower-premium plans during the 2020 AEP).

Reminder: Your Medicare plan costs and coverage can (and probably will) change each year.

Please review your Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) document and plan options carefully.  You can learn more about your 2022 Medicare plan options at https://PDP-Finder.com/2022

The annual Open Enrollment Period (AEP or Annual Election Period) for Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Part D drug plans begins on October 15 and continues through December 7.  The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA OEP) will begin January 1st and continues through March 31.

Not sure where to begin?

If you need assistance understanding how your current Medicare plan is changing or to learn more about your Medicare plan coverage options, please call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) and speak with a Medicare representative.

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Tips & Disclaimers
  • The Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plan data on our site comes directly from Medicare and is subject to change.
  • Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed the information on our site.
  • We provide our Q1Medicare.com site for educational purposes and strive to present unbiased and accurate information. However, Q1Medicare is not intended as a substitute for your lawyer, doctor, healthcare provider, financial advisor, or pharmacist. For more information on your Medicare coverage, please be sure to seek legal, medical, pharmaceutical, or financial advice from a licensed professional or telephone Medicare at 1-800-633-4227.
  • We are an independent education, research, and technology company. We are not affiliated with any Medicare plan, plan carrier, healthcare provider, or insurance company. We are not compensated for Medicare plan enrollments. We do not sell leads or share your personal information.
  • Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, provider network, premium and/or co-payments/co-insurance may change on January 1 of each year. Our PDP-Compare.com and MA-Compare.com provide highlights of annual plan benefit changes.
  • The benefit information provided is a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. For more information contact the plan.
  • Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply.
  • We make every effort to show all available Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plans in your service area. However, since our data is provided by Medicare, it is possible that this may not be a complete listing of plans available in your service area. For a complete listing please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov.
  • When enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, you must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium.
  • Medicare beneficiaries with higher incomes may be required to pay both a Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). Read more on IRMAA.
  • Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription drug coverage (MAPDs) are considered Medicare Part D plans and members with higher incomes may be subject to the Medicare Part D Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA), just as members in stand-alone Part D plans. In certain situations, you can appeal IRMAA.
  • You must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. Members may enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan only during specific times of the year. Contact the Medicare plan for more information.
  • If you are enrolled in a Medicare plan with Part D prescription drug coverage, you may be eligible for financial Extra Help to assist with the payment of your prescription drug premiums and drug purchases. To see if you qualify for Extra Help, call: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov; the Social Security Office at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. TTY users should call, 1-800-325-0778; or your state Medicaid Office.
  • Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-Star rating system. Star Ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next.
  • A Medicare Advantage Private Fee-for-Service plan (PFFS) is not a Medicare supplement plan. Providers who do not contract with the plan are not required to see you except in an emergency.
  • Disclaimer for Institutional Special Needs Plan (SNP): This plan is available to anyone with Medicare who meets the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) level of care and resides in a nursing home.
  • Disclaimer for Dual Eligible (Medicare/Medicaid) Special Needs Plan (SNP): This plan is available to anyone who has both Medical Assistance from the State and Medicare. Premiums, co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles may vary based on the level of Extra Help you receive. Please contact the plan for further details.
  • Disclaimer for Chronic Condition Special Needs Plan (SNP): This plan is available to anyone with Medicare who has been diagnosed with the plan specific Chronic Condition.
  • Medicare MSA Plans combine a high deductible Medicare Advantage Plan and a trust or custodial savings account (as defined and/or approved by the IRS). The plan deposits money from Medicare into the account. You can use this money to pay for your health care costs, but only Medicare-covered expenses count toward your deductible. The amount deposited is usually less than your deductible amount, so you generally have to pay out-of-pocket before your coverage begins.
  • Medicare MSA Plans do not cover prescription drugs. If you join a Medicare MSA Plan, you can also join any separate (stand-alone) Medicare Part D prescription drug plan
  • There are additional restrictions to join an MSA plan, and enrollment is generally for a full calendar year unless you meet certain exceptions. Those who disenroll during the calendar year will owe a portion of the account deposit back to the plan. Contact the plan provider for additional information.
  • Medicare beneficiaries may enroll through the CMS Medicare Online Enrollment Center located at www.medicare.gov.
  • Medicare beneficiaries can file a complaint with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services by calling 1-800-MEDICARE 24 hours a day/7 days or using the medicare.gov site. Beneficiaries can appoint a representative by submitting CMS Form-1696.