Medicare seniors to pay billions in extra premiums next year just in case Biogen’s $56,000-a-year memory drug is allowed

The average senior on Medicare will see their premiums jump double digits next year to $170.10 per person, per month, an annual increase of $21.60 monthly from $148.50 this year.

If you are a married couple older than 65, your health insurance premiums in 2022 will be a minimum of $4,082. If you purchase private insurance you still have to pay at least that premium to the government.

The average Social Security benefit is $1,500 a month. If you only worked fewer than 30 years, that drops drastically. For 14 years work the minimum would be $188.30 for low earners before deducting the Part B (doctor) required $170.10, leaving you with $18.20 a month.

If you earn more than average, you will pay even more as the following breakdown illustrates:

Suppose you are a widow or widower, living alone, and you need an emergency withdrawal from your IRA (that is always taxable). If that amount is more than $142,000, for example, your individual annual Medicare premium will be $5,307.

You don’t get much for the money. You pay doctors 20%, hospitals $1,500 for the first day, no real hearing, dental, vision or nursing home benefits.

Add on the 1.45% Medicare payroll tax, and you might perceive this as a perfect ripoff of the public.

Unfortunately, there is more to the story of why we pay so much for so little as seniors.

Enter stage far right  – crony capitalism at its worst – the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

This corrupt agency explained your premium increase was caused by “contingency reserves due to the uncertainty regarding the potential use of the Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm™, by people with Medicare”:

In July 2021, CMS began a National Coverage Determination analysis process to determine whether and how Medicare will cover Aduhelm™ and similar drugs used to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

As that process is still underway, there is uncertainty regarding the coverage and use of such drugs by Medicare beneficiaries in 2022.

While the outcome of the coverage determination is unknown, our projection in no way implies what the coverage determination will be, however, we must plan for the possibility of coverage for this high cost Alzheimer’s drug which could, if covered, result in significantly higher expenditures for the Medicare program.

Why would the possible use of one drug cause a significant increase in premiums for tens of milions of Medicare users.

First, consider that Medicare does not negotiate prices for drugs, and just pays whatever price listed. In the case of Biogen’s Aduhelm™ it is $56,000 per person, per year.

Next, estimate that about one million of the six million with Alzheimer’s get the drug, and your total annual cost to Medicare is about $56 billion.

That’s $20 billion more than Medicare Part B spent ($37 billion total) on all drugs administered in 2019.

Drug price reductions were authorized last year that would have prevented ripoffs, but they were revoked by the new administration as it took office.

A watered-down plan was included in the Biden “Build Back Better” proposed bill, but that control was removed in the summer to satisfy the drug companies and their investors.

Proof again, we need less CRT promoted in this country and more TLC offered to seniors, who have paid a lifetime in taxes in exchange for a decade or two of their pockets picked by politicians and their ilk.

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