Managing HealthyMarks Medicare the past couple of years has been an absolute joy. I’m proud to report that we have grown significantly and our Medicare Team has established itself as a resource for any knowledge regarding health insurance in San Diego. We have been noticing some trends the past couple of years and we thought we’d share this knowledge with you so you can better prepare yourself for your Medicare enrollment.

1) Expect A Major Premium Increase for Original Medicare in 2022

I was expecting to see a nominal rate increase for Medicare Part B going from 2021 to 2022. I was expecting to see the rates change from $148.50 to $158.50. I was not expecting this:

Original Medicare Part B Premium is now $170.10 a month for 2022

For those enrolling in Medicare Part B for the first time in 2022, the monthly premium has increased a lot more than in the past. The major reason is a controversial Alzheimer drug called Aduhelm. This drug has not shown to be very effective but was still approved by the FDA. This is a costly decision for Medicare. The pandemic has also impacted the premium increase. 2020 and 2021 have shown higher healthcare spending due to COVID-19. The cost of care has gone up due to many Medicare enrollees needing medical attention during this pandemic. We did not see a major jump in Part B premium from 2020 to 2021 because Congress mandated a small increase due to the financial recession.

Supplement vs Advantage

2) The Ease of a Supplement Plan Continues to be Worth the Money

Advantage plans are excellent healthcare plans that often resemble the structure of an HMO plan.  These plans are incredibly well priced with a small out of pocket maximum to go along with rich benefits and special perks like vision insurance and hearing aids bundled in.  However, our team continues to experience more headaches with Advantage plans compared to Supplement plans.
Like an HMO, Advantage plans require members to visit a Primary Care Physician who will dictate their specialty care.  Furthermore, Advantage plans require members to select a network of doctors and any care outside of that network of doctors will not be covered.  For example, if you sign up for a SCAN Advantage plan with access to Scripps, you’ll need to select between the “Scripps Coastal” network of doctors or the “Scripps Clinic” network of doctors.  When you select one network, you cannot visit specialists from another network.
We’ve learned that the Supplement plans offer the easiest access to care with the most robust network of doctors available to you.  The ease of use for Supplement plans has saved our HealthyMarks Medicare Team a lot of headaches.

2022 Trends

3) Part D Drug Plans from Centene Wellcare and Aenta SilverScript have Been Very Successful

In the past two years, Centene Wellcare and Aetna SilverScript have presented new inexpensive Part D prescription drug plans.  These plans offer access to a lot of generic drugs at a low cost for the member.  This means the member only has a major financial responsibility for preferred and speciality drugs.
These plans have been very successful in San Diego because of their inexpensive monthly premium and access to inexpensive generic drugs. Tier 1 prescriptions are often $0 if you go to a preferred pharmacy or have them mailed to you.
Unless you have important and expensive specialty drugs, you should certainly be considering these Centene Wellcare and Aetna SilverScript Part D plans with your Medicare broker.

2022 is going to be a great year for HealthyMarks Medicare

Thank you for all of your support the past years.  My wife Alexa and I have been blessed with an amazing opportunity to work together and build a Medicare Team here in our hometown. We feel so lucky to have found a niche where we can help our friends and family as they retire and move onto Medicare.  I have no doubt that 2022 is going to be even more successful! Thank you!