Drug spending driving up Part B premiums and deductibles


Medicare beneficiaries charged the standard premium for Medicare Part B coverage will be paying $144.60 each month in 2020, up $9.10 from 2019.

Image of an intravenous infusion of money into an arm anttohoho/Thinkstock

Deductibles also will increase to $198 next year, up $13 from the current year.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said in a statement announcing the hikes that the increases are “largely due to rising spending on physician administered drugs. These higher costs have a ripple effect and result in higher Part B premiums and deductibles.”

The formal details on the premium and deductible increases have been posted online and are scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on Nov. 13.

The CMS and Congress are looking into a number of options to help contain the spending on drugs, including the use of an international pricing index to put U.S. spending more in line with the lower prices offered in foreign countries, automatic rebates when drug prices rise faster than the rate of inflation, and a modern take on the failed competitive acquisition program.

The agency also announced increases in the inpatient hospital deductible that will be paid under Medicare Part A when beneficiaries are admitted into a hospital in 2020. The deductible increases to $1,408 next year, up from $1,364 this year. The daily coinsurance for the 61st-90th day increases to $352 from $341, while the daily coinsurance for lifetime reserve days increases to $704 from $682.

Skilled nursing facility coinsurance also rises during this same time period to $176 from $170.50.

More information on Part A deductibles can be found here, while information on Part A premiums can be found here.

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