New year brings changes to Medicare. This includes updated premiums, deductibles, and sometimes large policy moves. There’s a lot of Medicare in 2023. Some costs are down while others are up. And there are some significant changes to the way Medicare works.

You can get the most out of your Medicare benefits by understanding what’s new. These are the key updates for 2023, as provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Part-B costs have dropped

Medicare Part B, also known as medical insurance, covers medical needs such as doctor visits and durable medical equipment like wheelchairs and walkers. Everybody pays a Part-B monthly premium, even those with Medicare Advantage plans.

The Part B standard premium will be $164.90 per mois in 2023, a decrease of $170.10 per lunatory in 2022. You may be charged more if you earn more. The Part B deductible fell to $226 from $233 in 2022.

Part A prices have risen

Medicare Part A hospital insurance covers inpatient stays at a hospital or skilled nursing facility. While most people don’t have to pay a premium for Part A insurance, the premiums for those who do are now $506 per month. This is up from $499 in 2022. The deductible for hospital stays is $1,600 per benefit period in 2023, up from $1.556 in 2022.

The copays for hospitalizations and skilled nursing facility stays are increasing. These are the costs per benefit period.

  • $400 per Day for Days 61-90 in a Hospital (up from $389).

  • $800 per “lifetime reserves day” after day 90 at a hospital. Maximum 60 days (up from $778)

  • $200 per Day for Days 21-100 in a skilled nursing facility (up to $194.50).

Insulin prices are limited

This year, Medicare beneficiaries will be able to pay $35 per month for insulin. There is also no deductible. The change was effective January 1, but plans must implement this system by March 31, Ask your insurance company about reimbursement if you have paid more than $35 per month for insulin in January or February.

Beginning in July, the cost of insulin with a pump that is not covered by Medicare will be $35 per month.

Medicare’s start dates have been moved

For certain Medicare sign-up times it used to take two to three months for coverage to begin. This could have caused gaps in your health care. These dates have changed starting this year.

Your coverage will begin the month you sign up for Medicare, regardless of whether you are 65 years old or not. If you sign up for Medicare between January 1 and March 31, each year, your coverage will start the following month. It used to begin in July. )

Shingles vaccinations are covered

All adult vaccines that are covered by Medicare Part D, as well as those recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, are now fully covered. This includes the shingles vaccine and the tetanus-diphtheria-whooping cough vaccine. These vaccines were previously subject to cost sharing and deductibles.

Medicare Advantage plan ratings have lower

Every year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services awards every Medicare Advantage plan a star ranking. A rating of 1-5 is considered excellent. The average star rating of Medicare Advantage plans is 4.15 in 2023. This is down from 4.37 for 2022. However, this does not mean that quality has decreased.

Last year’s plan ratings were high due to a pandemic policy which applied a natural catastrophe exception to all Medicare Advantage plans, instead of only those in areas that have been affected by a hurricane or flood. Plan ratings in 2022 were much higher than normal, and this year’s correction may have resulted in a better rating of plans.

End-stage renal disease patients can receive more coverage

End-stage renal disease beneficiaries of Medicare lost their benefits for 36 months after a kidney donation, unless they were otherwise eligible. They could, however, apply for coverage for immunosuppressive drugs through a new benefit, Medicare Part B Immunosuppressive Drug (or Part B-ID) which began in October.

In 2023, the monthly premium for this benefit will be $97.10 per person. This benefit is only for continuous immunosuppressive drugs and beneficiaries can’t have any other health coverage.

This article was written and published originally by The Associated Press by NerdWallet.