MA Pricing Increases 8.5%, Traditional Medicare remains the Same so far

I believe we should fund traditional Medicare more, if the funds are going there (the funds are not going there). If you want something else, you are on your own. I do not want to pay the additional costs involved with MA Plans which we are doing out of Medicare funds. It is also no secret Medicare Advantage has been over coding patients they do accept, rejects those patients who may be more ill, and selects healthier patients. In some cases and after coding, the patient goes untreated.

The new news? Biden is intending to force traditional Medicare participants into more costly Medicare Advantage plans. He is continuing a program first established by trump. Trump’s “Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation’s Seniors” has been rebadged as the ACO REACH program. Also, if you are wondering why participation in MA plans is growing? Over three-hundred thousand traditional Medicare participants were forced into Medicare Advantage plans.

This year’s increase in Medicare premiums is funding commercial Medicare Advantage insurance plans. Read on . . .

Biden Hikes Medicare Premiums, Funnels Profits to Insurers,” (, Matthew Cunningham-Cook, Jun 1, 2022

The largest-ever Medicare premium increase will pad the pockets of insurance executives who donated millions to the president’s election campaign according

Last week, the Biden administration quietly reaffirmed its decision to enact the highest Medicare Advantage premium hikes in history right before this year’s midterm elections. At the same time, President Joe Biden is endorsing a plan to funnel significantly more Medicare money to insurance companies and further privatize the government insurance program for older Americans and those with disabilities.

In effect, the higher premium increases will subsidize the larger payments to — and profits for — private insurance corporations. This comes after Biden raked in roughly $47 million from health care industry executives during his 2020 campaign.

The Biden administration announced on May 27. Due to “legal and operational hurdles,” Traditional Medicare recipients won’t see their premiums lowered this year, even though that rate was originally hiked last November in large part due to the projected costs of paying for a controversial Alzheimer’s drug that Medicare now says it generally will not cover.

The administration’s announcement comes as Biden officials move forward with an 8.5% hike in payments made to private insurers operating Medicare Advantage plans next year. Profits to private insurers. Traditional Medicare will not be increasing and kept at the 2022 rates.

The juxtaposition between dramatically increasing payments to private insurance plans:

  • Providing less care for higher costs on the one hand, and
  • Keeping seniors’ premiums artificially inflated on the other hand.

This underscores the Biden administration’s conflicting commitments when it comes to Medicare. On the 2020 campaign trail, Biden pledged as president to:

“. . . continue to defend our nation’s commitment to older Americans and people with disabilities through Medicare.”

Hmmmm . . .

But since taking office, Biden has expanded Medicare privatization by launching the involuntary ACO REACH program and continuing to promote ever-increasing Medicare Advantage enrollment. He has also raised premiums for Medicare Advantage recipients. The result, is a situation in which Traditional Medicare’s sturdiness as an American institution is being steadily chipped away by well-connected corporate interests. Interests, donating to political interests.

Bill Kadereit, president of the American Retirees Education Foundation:

“[The] privatization effort is reaching a frantic state and Medicare Advantage is going to fail. Fail due to the fact the plans must pay profits to investors, unlike traditional Medicare plans. The industry is hoping to cover up that failure with taxpayer subsidies that none of the taxpayers understand.”

Well, some of do understand. We have been beating the drum about this. Ignored by politicians and those who believe they are safe in other alternatives.

All Medicare recipients pay premiums for outpatient care, which is called Medicare Part B. That money can be funneled into traditional government Medicare plans, or into Medicare Advantage plans run by private insurers that are incentivized to limit the amount of care that elders receive.

The standard Part B premium for Medicare patients is now $170.10 per month — up 14.5 percent from last year, when it was $148.50. Half of the increase in premiums was due to a panic over a single drug, Aduhelm. Despite its June 2021 approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat Alzheimer’s disease, it is not proven to do so.

The timeline of Biden’s Medicare moves, then, is this:

  • In June 2021, Biden’s FDA approved the drug Aduhelm for treatment of Alzheimer’s, despite controversy involving alleged scientific disputes inside the agency over the drug’s efficacy and industry pressure on the internal review process.
  • In November 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which administers and oversees Medicare, approved the historic 14.5 percent premium increase for all Medicare beneficiaries. The announcement noted that among other reasons, the hike “reflects the need to maintain a contingency reserve for unanticipated increases in health care spending, particularly certain drug costs,” and specifically mentioned covering Aduhelm.
  • A few days later, in response to questions from CNN, CMS revealed that the projected cost of Aduhelm was alone responsible for half of the premium increase.
  • The resulting outcry led Aduhelm’s manufacturer, Biogen, to halve the drug’s price the following month.
  • In January 2022, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra called on CMS to reassess those premium hikes this year.
  • In April 2022, Medicare instituted strict rules regarding who could receive the Aduhelm under its plans — but kept the higher premiums in place.
  • Around this same time, CMS announced a massive 8.5 percent increase in the rates paid to for-profit Medicare Advantage plans — despite the official body overseeing Medicare payments. The increase came in spite of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, concluding that Medicare Advantage is more costly than traditional Medicare.
  • On May 27, the Biden administration publicly announced their decision. Despite the extraordinary premium hikes stemming from inaccurate price assumptions, there would be no lowering of the monthly premium deducted from social security checks. Instead, they would factor in any overcharges into next year’s Medicare premium calculations.

The Biden administration’s decision to keep Medicare premiums artificially inflated won’t just constrain the budgets of cash-strapped seniors, it also appears to be a politically suicidal move in an already fraught election year. For tradtional Medicare, the additional money will serve to fund the Medicare Trust Fund.

Biden Hikes Medicare Premiums, Funnels Profits to Commercial Insurers” (, June 2022

Single Payer Health Care Financing Presentation – Three Part Series” – Angry Bear (

The Growth in Share of Medicare Advantage Spending” | KFF