CMS: Part D premiums projected to increase nearly 5% in 2022 to $33

Drug prices
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that Medicare Part D premiums are expected to increase by nearly 5% to $33 next year. (Getty/Tero Vesalainen)

The average Part D premium is projected to increase by nearly 5% from $31.47 to $33 in 2022.

Thursday’s announcement comes as Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are making moves to address drug prices on Part D, the program’s prescription drug benefit.

The Part D premium is higher than the $30 in 2020, when premiums declined by 12% since 2017.

CMS said that it anticipates releasing the final 2022 premium and cost-sharing information on Part D and Medicare Advantage plans later this fall.

The announcement comes amid several potential major changes to Medicare being debated in Congress.

Senate Democrats are looking to add legislation to give Medicare drug pricing authority as part of a $3.5 trillion infrastructure package.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, told reporters Thursday that momentum remains on the policy.

“I think there continues to be an openness to the principles we laid out,” he said. “A number of senators just in the last 12 hours have asked a lot of questions about where the drug pricing effort is.”

CMS is also evaluating whether to cover a new, controversial Alzheimer’s disease treatment called Aduhelm. The drug is priced by manufacturer Biogen at $56,000 a year despite concerns over its efficacy from experts.

One estimate said if Medicare does cover the drug, it could increase total spending on Medicare by $29 billion a year.